Lead Plagues Pittsburgh & Disincorporation Rejoins The Conversation As Election Season Gets Underway

May 19, 2017

Pittsburgh's primary is set, but election season is just getting underway. Politcal reporters Kevin Zwick of the Greensburg Tribune-Review and Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have more.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says smaller municipalities could vote to disincorporate to get more Allegheny County services. 90.5 WESA's Mark Nootbaar and the Pittsburgh Trib's Aaron Aupperlee explain what that means and how it could go down. Also, this isn't the first time municipal disincorporation has been on the table.

County Controller Chelsa Wagner has sought headlines calling for a moratorium on partial replacements of lead-tainted water lines still part of the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority. The city was recently named by the Environmental Protection Agency as the nation's second largest city with a lead level at or above a worrisome threshold, and city leaders have occasionally downplayed the problem.

Senate Bill 656 from Allegheny County Democrat Wayne Fontana would change Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues to allow public authorities to replace private water lines -- an oft-cited roadblock by city and PWSA administrators. WESA's Liz Reid and the Pittsburgh Trib's Theresa Clift break it all down and talk about the people affected by existing and proposed lead removal policies.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes here.