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Community Tour Demonstrates how Green Sewer Improvements Could Transform Neighborhood Blight
29 May 2012
Residents of Hazelwood and City Councilman Corey O'Connor will see how fixing the regions crumbling sewer problem with green methods could transform blighted neighborhoods and bring jobs in the process
Allegheny County is under a consent decree to fix the problem of sewage runoff in the rivers that could cost ALCOSAN and its rate payers billions of dollars.
Or it could result in improvements to neighborhoods and long term job creation.
Neighbors and City Councilman Corey O’Connor will get a tour of Hazelwood with a view to what the community could look like if storm water issues are addressed as rain falls rather than through traditional “gray” methods. ACTION United will lead a bus tour through the Hazelwood community looking at blight and talking about how both the blight and the regional storm water problem could be solved at the same time.
“Green” and “Scenic” aren’t words one normally associates with neighborhoods like Hazelwood, but if ACTION United and the Clean Rivers Campaign had its way this community and others like it would be transformed for the better by the same methods used to control the regions storm water problem.
For example, the tour will stop at a vacant lot that could be converted into a playground with run-off capturing gardens and pavement. At another stop tour participants will stop at a senior high rise and discuss green-scaping Second Avenue to make it more inviting and safer for pedestrians as well as reducing a significant amount of stormwater.
“The history of Hazelwood is grey with smoke and dust. Let's make sure the future is Green, with Green infrastructure and good jobs.” John Cheatham, Chapter President.
Advocates also point out that these seemingly simple methods actually can help the region meet its consent decree requirements for fixing the problem of sewage run off into the rivers while costing less than traditional methods, creating more long term jobs, and providing extra benefits to communities like Hazelwood.