University of Pittsburgh
September 5, 2006

Pitt's Institute of Politics Forms Task Force to Tackle Region's Water-Management Problems

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH--The University of Pittsburgh's Institute of Politics, which specializes in assisting coordinated responses to regional policy issues, has formed the Regional Water Management Task Force to address Southwestern Pennsylvania's pressing water-management challenges.

Carnegie Mellon University president Jared Cohon, who chaired the Pennsylvania Economy League's Water and Sewer Infrastructure Project five years ago, will chair the task force, and Angelo Armenti Jr., California University of Pennsylvania president, will serve as vice chair.

"This project is a natural follow-up to the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Project," Cohon said. That project's report, titled "Investing in Clean Water," identified Southwestern Pennsylvania's water-quality problems. The new task force will work to identify and implement the most effective mechanisms to solve these problems.

Studies and reports completed during the past decade have urged greater regional cooperation in water management. "Investing in Clean Water" states that pursuing viable regional solutions to the water-infrastructure problems will help ensure that all residents in the 11-county region have the benefit of clean and healthy water through the implementation of efficient and effective water-management systems.

The task force's work plan includes two phases. The first phase, to be completed before the end of 2006, involves intensive information gathering about the existing water management entities in the region, an examination of how other similar regions are effectively confronting their water-management challenges, and a thorough analysis of potential regional collaborations to benefit the citizens of Southwestern Pennsylvania. If warranted by the results of the first phase, Phase II will continue with substantial community outreach and civic engagement as the task force examines possible solutions and assesses the feasibility of implementing those solutions.

At the suggestion of its Environment Policy Committee, the Institute of Politics sought and received support for its work from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, the region's metropolitan planning organization.

The 17-member task force includes representation from industry, government, and academia from all 11 counties within the project's geographic scope. A full list of task force board members follows.

Jared L. Cohon, Chair, Carnegie Mellon University, Allegheny

Angelo Armenti, Jr., Vice Chair, California University of Pennsylvania, Washington

Robert O. Agbede, Board Member, ATS-Chester Engineers, Allegheny

John R. Andrighetti, Board Member, ILCAVALLO, Inc., Greater Latrobe Senior High School, Westmoreland

Daniel E. Bailey, Board Member, Muncipal Authority of the Borough of Carmichaels, Greene

Bruce G. Hottle, Board Member, Eagle Concrete, Lincoln Township Municipal Authority, Somerset

Robert W. Kunkle, Board Member, Indiana County Municipal Services Authority, Indiana

Theodore A. McConnell, Board Member, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, Allegheny

Andrew R. Quinn, Board Member, Kennywood Entertainment Company, Allegheny

Carmen Rozzi, Board Member, US Army Corps of Engineers, Lawrence

Edith Shapira, Board Member, River Life Task Force, Allegheny

Diane Mintus Sheets, Board Member, Community Development Corporation of Butler County, Butler

Deb Simko, Board Member, Mountain Watershed Association, Fayette

Kenneth A. Smith, Board Member, Geneva College, Beaver

Mark A. Snyder, Board Member, Snyder Associated Companies, Armstrong

Richard W. Taylor, Board Member. Macedonia Development Corporation, Allegheny

Doris Carson Williams, Board Member, African American Chamber of Commerce, Allegheny

James R. Hassinger, Non-voting Board Member, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Regional