“And we’ve been blasted by environmentalists for not going with an entirely ‘green’ approach,” she said. “’Green’ cannot eliminate the need for ‘gray.’”
So now, Alcosan goes into what Williams called the big lull, waiting for the EPA to respond to their revised proposal. The federal agency has until Jan. 2014 to do so. Could they respond with a demand to move ahead with the original plan or face punitive fines? Williams said it is possible but unlikely.
“It’s far more likely they’ll say, lets talk about it some more. I’m hopeful they’ll look at what we have and approve this staged approach,” she said. “And once we are approved, we still have to go into design stage. So we’re a long way from starting any construction.”
Asked if last week’s federal court ruling that the EPA had exceeded its authority to regulate rainwater runoff had any bearing on the Alcosan plan, Williams said no, primarily because the consent decree had already been signed.
“It doesn’t really apply to us, but I know everyone whose ever sat across the table from the EPA let out a ‘yea’ when they heard that,” she said.
After her presentation, Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams thanked her and gave her a copy of the award-winning book “Water.” She also introduced new members and highlighted upcoming events including a showing of “Soul Food Junkies” at WQED Multimedia, Jan. 23; a members’ mixer at the Heinz History Center at the “From Slavery To Freedom” exhibit, Jan. 29; and a Marcellus Shale business, jobs and supplier presentation Jan 31 at the Koppers building.
(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)

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