Pittsburgh's Sewage Woes Echo National Problem
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a short-term fix for a staggeringly expensive problem: Every year, more than 850 billion gallons of sewage flows into the nations rivers, lakes and bays. Fixing the problem is staggeringly expensive.
Pittsburgh is among the cities with overburdened sewage treatment plants and crumbling pipes that can't handle the sheer volume of sewage flowing through them. What they can't treat is dumped straight into open bodies of water.
For years, the EPA has been prodding -- and suing -- hundreds of cities to fix their problems. But the costs are high. Pittsburgh's tab could reach $3 billion. The federal government refuses to pay the bills. So, the EPA has given the cities some slack, allowing them years to plot solutions and decades to implement them.
But some scientists say giving cities too much leeway could be dangerous to public health.
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