Division:  Environmental Compliance
Director: Michelle Buys
Departments: Industrial Waste, Laboratory, Residuals Programs



The Environmental Compliance Division ensures that the Authority complies with federal, state and local environmental laws and is the primary point of contact with the Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department.  This division maintains primary oversight for ALCOSAN’s NPDES permits which authorizes ALCOSAN to discharge treated wastewater to the Ohio River and authorizes the discharges of Combined Sewer Overflows. ALCOSAN also maintains environmental permits for air quality and biosolids management.  

This Division includes departments which are coordinated to ensure that permit sampling, monitoring and reporting requirements are met. These Departments are Environmental Laboratory, Industrial Waste and Residual Waste. ALCOSAN’s Environmental Laboratory’s professional team of chemists conducts on average over 20,000 analysis each year on wastewater, industrial waste, biosolids and surface water. The Laboratory utilizes the latest analytical technology to provide accurate and defensible data to support our permit requirements. Our Laboratory holds a Certificate of Accreditation from PA DEP. 

The Industrial Waste Department consists of several investigative teams and technical samplers responsible for monitoring and sampling discharges into the wastewater collection system for hundreds of industrial users, and enforces USEPA’s pretreatment program regulations. The department's sampling and monitoring activities provide information to apply surcharges on non-domestic accounts for high strength wastes, while also investigating sewer-related environmental incidents to protect the public and the wastewater treatment system. These efforts aim to safeguard public health, preserve local water sources, maintain the integrity of the wastewater treatment process, and enable the safe recycling and beneficial use of wastewater by-products. Learn more about Industrial/Commercial regulations

The Residuals Department has been issuing permits since the early 1990s to effectively recycle wastewater by-products like ALCOSOIL on local farm fields. ALCOSAN currently holds beneficial use permits for more than 500 land application sites, covering a total area of over 28,000 acres. The department's staff diligently supervises the proper usage of ALCOSOIL, conducting thorough inspections before and after application to ensure compliance with land application regulations and environmental safety standards. Additionally, the Residuals staff reviews, monitors, and reports analytical data to regulatory agencies concerning both the beneficial use and disposal of all wastewater solids. They collaborate with various stakeholders, both internal and external to ALCOSAN, to establish a recycling program that reflects ALCOSAN's commitment to environmental sustainability.


Community Impact

ALCOSAN has the authority from the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate industrial discharges into the system through an approved industrial pretreatment program. All industrial users in our service area are required to comply with our discharge regulations, as well as any federal or state discharge regulations. Our investigators conduct routine inspections at industrial facilities to ensure that they comply and are not discharging harmful pollutants into the sewer system. 

ALCOSAN’s Environmental Laboratory conducts analysis for our system and industrial customer permit monitoring. Our laboratory has three main parts: wet chemistry, bacteriology and instrumentation.  ALCOSAN’s laboratory is a high-quality facility accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. ALCOSAN conducts its own testing so that we have quality control, quick response time and we can conduct the timely analyses for the regulatory requirements.

Recent Accomplishment

  • Recycled nearly 69 tons of metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, compostables, and other materials from the plant
  • Provided technical and legal oversight in negotiating the updated Consent Decree and Clean Water Plan
  • Secured renewed NPDES permit to continue discharging to the Ohio River

Quick Links

About Compliance

ALCOSAN must meet a series of requirements to comply with the Clean Water Act

Explore the Consent Decree
Follow the Flush

See the path wastewater takes to the ALCOSAN treatment facility from any address within the ALCOSAN Service Area

Flush It

From Wastewater to Clean Water

See How it Works