Although not as apparent today, Pittsburgh was once one of the top industrial cities in America- and one of the dirtiest.
Often described as “hell with the lid off,” Pittsburgh of old was a city of dark noons where workers had to change their white shirts during the day. Since the Steel City’s mid-century renaissance, the air quality has improved significantly.
Improving the water quality of the famed three rivers- which were often used as garbage disposal by past residents- has been a longer process.
But encouraging news came out of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently, when they announced that the Monongahela River had been removed from the department’s list of Rivers with Impaired Drinking Water.
The department’s Deputy Secretary of Water Management Kelly Heffner said that though this was a step in the right direction, there is still plenty of work to be done in Western Pennsylvania.
Why is the sound and image of water so soothing to us? Why does being near water improve our wellbeing? And how can this understanding help us make better decisions about water conservation and urban design?
and neuroscientist, Wallace J. Nichols explores these questions and many more in his book “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science that Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.”
He’s coming to Pittsburgh to take part in the Inspire Speakers Series, in conjunction with Riverlife, a local organization that works on the development of Pittsburgh's riverfront park systems. Wallace J. Nichols joins us along with Stephan Bontrager, Director of Communications for Riverlife.
As the natural gas boom continues across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, producers are looking for new markets for their products.
A recent study commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance, an industry trade group, identified opportunities for the use of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to power cargo vessels on the nation’s waterways and railroads.
The Allegheny County Health Department issued its second combined sewer overflow (CSO) alert of the season Thursday.
The advisories notify swimmers, boaters and other river-goers if the water has been contaminated by raw sewage after heavy rainfall clogs waste treatment facilities. The length of the advisories depends on the time it takes for the sewer systems to return to normal levels.
The CSO alerts do not prohibit recreational river activity, but advise the public to reduce water contact, especially those with weak immune systems or open cuts and sores.
More than half of the nation’s river and stream miles are in poor condition for aquatic life. That’s according to the first comprehensive survey of river health by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Data was collected from about 2,000 sites across the country from 2008-09, and then federal, state and university scientists analyzed the information to determine how well the waterways support aquatic life and how major stressors might be affecting them.