(Photo by Catt Liu/Unsplash)

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner made one thing pretty clear at her Monday morning press conference: She’s not buying the claims Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the Allegheny County Health Department are making about how many children are affected by the lead in Pittsburgh’s water.

CHELSA WAGNER (Courier Photo by J.L. Martello)

Wagner announced her office would pursue an “expedited audit” of the health department’s programs that monitor and respond to issues of lead contamination. The audit includes an assessment of how the health department collects data about lead in the water. Wagner expects the audit to take a month to six weeks to complete.

Wagner questioned the claims Peduto and the health department have been making for weeks. At public forums and in a video for his re-election campaign, Peduto has said the “amount of children in the city of Pittsburgh being poisoned by lead in our water is zero.” Peduto has based his claim on data from the health department that shows the blood lead levels of children in Pittsburgh steadily decreasing since the 1970s.



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