Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Clean Air, Water Acts Arrive at Pgh City Council

Environmental activists, union members, and several community organizations gathered outside Pittsburgh City Council Chambers today to support new legislation aimed at cleaning the city’s air and water.

Councilman Bill Peduto’s Clean Water Act of 2010 would require publicly-funded developers to try to contain storm water runoff. Its partner bill, the Clean Air Act, would mandate that diesel-powered construction vehicles be retrofitted with cleaner exhaust systems or replaced with cleaner vehicles.

Council members Bruce Kraus, Natalia Rudiak, and Doug Shields also support the bills.

Pittsburgh United Executive Director Barney Oursler says Council should have six yea votes in order to get the measures passed, because Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s administration might not back the legislation.

Oursler says his group is working to garner support for the bills in Councilman Patrick Dowd’s district.

“We’re going to keep on pushing other Council members until we get to six, seven, eight, and nine, as we did with prevailing wage,” says Oursler. “We will win, but we will only win because we work really hard and stick together.”

Service Employees International Union spokesman Sam Williamson says Pittsburgh residents deserve clean rivers and clean air.

“We deserve a government that ensures that when we use public money, taxpayers’ money, to fund private development, we’re going to make our environment cleaner, not dirtier,” says Williamson.

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