PWSA Worker

Shelby Cassesse

Political Feud Over PWSA Reaches Boiling Point

Mayor Peduto and PA Speaker Mike Tuzai go back and forth

August 09, 2018 - 4:01 pm

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority have long been criticized for its mismanagement, money troubles, and failure to update its aging infrastructure, like old pipes that still contain lead.  This week, leaders from the Pittsburgh Regional Building and Construction Trades Council wrote a letter to Mayor Bill Peduto in support of a bid from Peoples Water to take over management of the PWSA.

Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) also renewed his push for privatization of the authority, noting he has no confidence in the ability of the mayor or city council to turn around the PWSA.

“Where has the mayor been? Where has city council been? And why do we think that all of the sudden, PWSA is going to correct its course,” says Turzai.

Mayor Peduto issued a response calling Turzai’s comments “bizarre” and accusing him of being “infatuated” with privatization. 

“With bizarre comments like these, you have to wonder why any entity would want to do business with the city. It’s imperative that the people of Pittsburgh have trust that all PWSA matters are subject to a completely transparent process yet the Representative is infatuated with forcing through its privatization,” says Peduto.

Yet in his same statement, Peduto goes on to say “we will logically evaluate if any third-party could help us address the authority’s issues.”  He says a “data-driven” analysis will be completed first. 

Mayor Peduto has himself been critical of the PWSA in recent weeks. However, Rep. Turzai says the mayor “has his head in the sand” when it comes to the PWSA.