Web site installed on the net.
Attended the first of the Alcosan public consent meetings at the McKnight Holiday Inn. Only about 15 people attended of which five were homeowners. Also, one mayor and a Pittsburgh councilman.
The 1 1/2 hour PowerPoint presentation consisted of 30 minutes at an 8th grader level on combined vs separate sanitary sewers and how bad combined sewers were. This was followed by about 55 minutes on the trials and tribulations of negotiating the consent agreement with the EPA; and on what a good job Alcosan had done. This was followed by about 5 minutes on Alcosan's current rates. Absolutely no information on where the $3 billion was to be spent during the PowerPoint. Later questioning revealed that $1 billion was for Alcosan system improvements and that the remaining $2 billion was to be spent by municipalities and sewer districts on their own systems. It appears Alcosan plans the latter work also but does not fund it.
Asked about the cost impact on consumers (including fairly intensely after the meeting). Alcosan indicated they did not know and it was too early to tell since making such estimates were scheduled later in their program. This, despite the fact that I pointed out that the Third Party Review estimates were on Alcosan's own web site. I pointed out rather strenuously that normal businesses did not sign consent decrees costing $3 billion without knowing what the cost impact was on their customers.
The meetings have a stenographer and my questions were read into the record. You can download my question statement here as a MSWord and here as a PDF. Talked to the only reporter there (Tribune Review) and pointed out that Alcosan was planning to build the equivalent of 1.4 Hoover Dams paid for by 300,000 people. Mentioned the www site and it appears to have made it into at least the final googled article although not the printed paper.
Alcosan's $3 billion Settlement:
Issues and Cost to You
Added: What You Can Do and Spreadsheet pages; added links in Link page.
I am planning on attending the Alcosan public meeting at the Convention Center. The questions and remarks that I intend to use are here as a MS Word and here as a PDF.
An important part of these questions and remarks is whether Municipalities can be forced to construct treatment facilities if they are unaffordable or unfinanceable. Also of import will be the suggestion to consider supplemental funding such as from a county-wide automobile registration fee and/or a commercial and industrial impervious area runoff fee only in combined sewer areas. This runoff fee would NOT apply to homes or apartment buildings even if they are in a combined sewer area.
Hopefully, this will be better attended and covered by the media than the earlier meetings. If covered by the press, I will probably not update the comments here.
This site has been updated with a number of housekeeping changes. Many of these were necessitated by the fact that the key independent Third Party Review of the ALCOSAN Regional Long Term Wet Weather Control Concept Plan is no longer hosted on ALCOSAN's own web site. Sometime after October 2007, the date of this initial analysis and its www publication, this highly competent and objective Third Party Review became no longer publicly available at ALCOSAN's web site. Fortunately a backup copy had been saved.
This Third Party Review is of key importance to objective analysis and to the public's understanding of the cost impact to them from ALCOSAN's likely EPA compliance plan. For this reason, a copy of this Third Party Review is now being hosted here on an interim basis in the hope that Alcosan will reinstate their site copy for public access. While a few details of the Third Party Review's cost estimate can be found on pages 158 to 161 of a "Regional cooperation for water quality improvement in southwestern Pennsylvania" book review at http://tinyurl.com/yk57qle, that is no substitute for access to the original independent cost impact study as now maintained on this site. One remaining used $180 copy of the Third Party Review can be purchased from Amazon. Unfortunately, no copy is available at any of the region's libraries.
Thus, housekeeping link changes have been made to the key customer impact analysis on the Main Page, as well as its companion downloadable MSWord and PDF documents. Of course, the same applies to the Links Page where Message Boxes have also been added to show where significant link changes have been made.
Additionally, the Meetings Page is updated with the latest round of ALCOSAN Public Meetings. Moreover, a window on that page now opens on ALCOSAN's meeting calendar so that this site's users can easily find the latest Public Meeting information.
Both the What You Can Do Page and the Links Page now include a link to the transcripts of ALCOSAN's public meetings. Thus, you can now read what ALCOSAN says about their Consent Decree effort at the various public meetings. Also, you can see what the replies and questions were from the public attendee audience, as well as ALCOSAN's responses to audience statements and questions.
This site has been updated to indicate a new series of Town Hall meetings from October to November, 2011. ALCOSAN says that they will cover costs for a change!
Updated ALCOSAN map to a more detailed copy and added link to a an even more detailed map.
Added links to the independent Allegheny County projection of future ALCOSAN costs to homeowners due to the Consent Decree. Developed a special Excel spreadsheet to confirm: this site's and Allegheny County homeowner future cost increase projections. This special spreadsheet tool can also be downloaded from this site for modified, independent user cost projections.
This site has been updated to indicate a new presentation that will be made on October 17, 2012 at what is likely to be the last meaninfull round of Public Comment meetings. Substantial effort has gone into that analysis in two key areas: consumer cost impact, and project capital cost containment. You are welcome to read or download a copy from here on this site.