Key takeaways from our interview with Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Interim Executive Director Robert Weimar

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Bob Weimar has been serving as the interim executive director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for almost a year. And he is forging ahead with plans to revamp the organization and tackle the city’s lead issue despite numerous water main breaks and other setbacks, he said in an interview with PublicSource on Wednesday. One of Weimar’s priorities is to change the chemical that PWSA uses to control lead corrosion in its service lines, a move he hopes will drop lead levels down to single digits citywide and buy the organization the time it needs to locate, remove and replace the lead lines. He said Wednesday that he is awaiting approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] to make the chemical change, and hopes to add it to PWSA’s systems by the spring. Weimar is taking other changes — including those to PWSA’s governing structure — in stride.

Donna Roberts watches and takes notes at a climate change event at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh on Nov. 20. (Photo by John Hamilton/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh has glaring environmental problems. So why the greenwashing?

It was a busy fall in the city. Without leaving town, many Pittsburghers – myself included – were able to participate in multiple international gatherings related to the environment and sustainability. The first big event was the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) annual conference. Then came the greatly anticipated Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, with more than 1,300 trainees from around the world, led by founder and former Vice President Al Gore. October closed with the Natural History Museums in the Age of Humanity conference at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, coinciding with the opening of its We Are Nature: Living in the Anthropocene exhibit about life in the time of climate change.