PennFuture Files Suit against City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority
Cites failure to enforce the city's storm water management ordinance against the Buncher Company at development project
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) filed suit yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) and the city of Pittsburgh for their failure to enforce the city's storm water management ordinance against the Buncher Company, developer of an important Strip District development project between 11th Street and 21st Street.
The suit is based on the federal Clean Water Act and Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, and comes after the city and PWSA failed to discuss settlement negotiations after PennFuture filed a notice of intent to sue on April 22.
"The suit charges that those responsible for enforcing the city's storm water management laws have failed in their responsibility to the public in favor of shortcuts that protect neither the environment nor public health and safety," said George Jugovic Jr., president and CEO of PennFuture. "The city has a forward-looking storm water management ordinance that should be showcased as part of this development. It is a shame that the city seems to place more value on showcasing how fast it can get this development built than on taking its legal obligations seriously.”
“Their duty is clear," continued Jugovic. "The law requires that the city and PWSA adopt and enforce a program that ensures that storm water is managed in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. The city's own ordinance requires that any publicly funded project use advanced green infrastructure practices to capture and manage onsite the rainfall from all but a small number of storm events, rather than allowing the water to run off into our rivers and streams. They simply cannot ignore these legal obligations."
A copy of the court filing is available on request.