Over the years, the City of Pittsburgh has been supportive of cycling. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who’s been pejoratively called “Bike Lane Billy,” wants to get more residents out of cars and on bicycles. “A 21st century city is a multi-modal city,” Peduto said in a 2017 debate during his reelection campaign. “It is a city that is designed for cars and bikes and pedestrians, and public transit, and not simply the automobile. That’s 1950s.”
Even though he didn’t realize his remarks would spark such an intense reaction, Peduto is adamant that he did the right thing and has begun to put together a plan for how to move forward. He has been meeting with leaders who were upset by his stance and is hoping to work with them to convene a forum where advocates for the petrochemical industry can sit down with other stakeholders in the city and region.
Involuntary mental health treatment is a highly controversial issue among practitioners, advocates and those who have sought and received treatment. Some argue that involuntary treatment is the only way to guarantee that certain people get the help they need. Others say it infringes on a person’s civil rights and can push them away from seeking help in the future.
To further educate local residents and environmental groups about the threat of PFAS, PublicSource and Environmental Health News hosted a special forum on Sept. 12 at the Marriott Hotel near the Pittsburgh International Airport. The military bases near the airport are identified sites of PFAS contamination, and the airport is a potential source of contamination as well, according to reports from former firefighters, airport records, expert scientists and a military study. The panel included: Carla Ng, a PFAS researcher at the University of Pittsburgh; Lisa Daniels, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's director of the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water; Melanie Benesh, the legislative attorney for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that has done extensive PFAS research; Hope Grosse and Joanne Stanton, residents in Eastern Pennsylvania who have lived near PFAS contamination (via video chat); and Caitlin Berretta, the manager of business development at Evoqua, a company headquartered in Pittsburgh that does PFAS remediation. Editor's note: This event was part of an ongoing collaboration between Environmental Health News and PublicSource on PFAS contamination in Pennsylvania and was funded in part through the Bridge Pittsburgh Media Partnership.
It's been more than three and a half years since the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority was put on notice for high lead levels in the city's drinking water, and new data shows the lead levels continue to be out of compliance.