Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Pittsburgh City Council members are looking at 6 bills that fellow councilman Bill Peduto says add up to a big step toward making Pittsburgh a greener city. The bills deal with items such as making sure the city makes green purchasing decisions and improving recycling efforts on city property and in private homes. One bill deals with how green roofs can be installed. Peduto says green roofs can be a great way to lower energy bills and keep rain water out of combined sewers, however, if the are installed improperly they can do more harm than good. “We have code dealing with putting TV antennas on your house but not putting on a green roof,” says Peduto. Also in Peduto’s “green six-pack” are ordinances that call for energy audits of city assets at least every ten years and the creation of a Sustainability Commission. Peduto says that commission would be much like the Arts Commission or the Historic Review Commission. The 6th bill in the package would shift the city’s Sustainability Coordinator from being a position in place only as long as outside funding is available and place it into city code. Peduto says that will make sure it is not the first thing cut in tough budget years. Peduto says this is just the first step in greening the city. He plans to introduce more “green” legislation later this year. He says being green is something that you constantly need to stay on top of as situations change and new technologies surface.