Oliver has been recognized with local and national press awards for his coverage of environmental and health challenges in the Pittsburgh region and has co-published work with CityLab, Pittsburgh Magazine, Environmental Health News, The Allegheny Front and WESA. Before PublicSource, Oliver led The Wichita Eagle’s coverage of fracking-related earthquakes, immigration, race and criminal justice reform. One investigation led the state of Kansas to audit its wildfire fighting system. He has freelanced for publications such as The Atlantic, Education Week and City Limits. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College, the University of Oxford and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for seven years as an educator in the Arkansas Delta before embarking on his career in journalism.
In an attempt to gauge what the Fox Chapel community is looking for in a new school district superintendent, a consultancy firm identified a number of challenges the district faces as well as an emerging concern about district leadership.
After several years of controversy over lead in the drinking water and test results out of federal compliance, officials from Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority [PWSA] say new lead test results are both a step in the right direction and a sign that the worst may be in the rearview mirror.
At the start of a new decade, the challenges of local air pollution enforcement are changing. It’s critical for regulators to respond to unexpected events as effectively as ongoing pollution. And climate change is making their job harder.
The air quality in the next decade will also be shaped by a regional economic debate about the expansion of the petrochemical industry and fracking, which could increase pollution in Allegheny County.
But some of the biggest changes may not be up to regulators: U.S. Steel recently put one of its coke oven batteries on “hot idle” for economic reasons, which reduces pollution, and has promised to build cleaner technology to reduce emissions even more. And whoever is running the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] could limit or enhance the county’s ability to take action in the future.
Two weeks ago, tests showed that the drinking water from Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority contained some of the highest levels of PFAS chemicals found in the 96 water sources tested throughout the the state. The authority's board approved an expense of $5,000 to pay for additional testing of its drinking water.
A reader emailed me at the end of October asking if I knew what had happened to the water supply in Neville Township. I didn’t. Some reader tips don’t go anywhere but some of my best stories start with readers. So I emailed the Department of Environmental Protection’s regional information officer to see what she knew about why Neville residents were told not to consume the water for days. I received a quick response: The state agency had to do emergency testing for PFAS chemicals because a firefighting foam containing the toxics had discharged into the drinking water source.
Drinking water from the Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority showed PFAS contamination among the highest levels found in the state, though still below the federal health advisory level, according to test results released Thursday by the Department of Environmental Protection [DEP].
At a sewer conference in November, an ALCOSAN study hinted at how it may be able to spend the remaining $1.9 billion. The preliminary results of the study indicates that out of all of the remaining investment, an estimated $29 million in planned pipes could be converted to green infrastructure for about the same cost or cheaper.