Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow

To: Councilman Bruce A. Kraus, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) Executive Director Wanda Wilson, among others.

Rhetorical question: Should there be a criminal investigation into the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow?

Duquesne Light is rapidly moving forward with the construction of this massive project on Schenley Park property, without any in-depth, comprehensive environmental and health studies, as to how the project will impact residents of our small community, especially the elderly. Both of you have a fiduciary duty to our community, yet you seem to be relying blindly only on the word of this company’s engineers that there are no problems.

According to Duquesne Light, the project is under the full jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission. Is this true? A commission hearing was held that gave Duquesne Light permission to move forward with this project. However, neither myself nor any other resident of our neighborhood that I am aware of received notice of this crucial hearing. If either of you attended, you did not let our community know what concerns, if any, you raised on our behalf. Neither of you provided our community with minutes of the hearing. Please do so.

A meeting for this neighborhood-changing project was held Monday, January 6. I received notice by an OPDC email on Friday, January 3. If a workweek can be considered as Monday through Friday, then I and others received notice of this important meeting only one day before. Also, three meetings about this project were held in late October/early November. I do not have records of notices for those meetings. Please have your offices provide me with records of those email notices. In addition, where are all of the minutes for these three meetings, not just those of November 7 that were contained in the January 3 email?

Duquesne Light representatives mentioned in the November 7 minutes that this project is necessary because institutions are planning major new developments, and they are preparing for this growth. If you read closely between the lines, and beyond the lines, of these minutes, you will come to understand that this project is an indictment of OPDC, the Pittsburgh City Council, Mayor William Peduto, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment, as well as the office of District Attorney Stephen Zappala and the media of Pittsburgh.

Duquesne Light executives know full well, beyond any doubt, that none of the above have the courage to protect and preserve our community, by the fact that the above are not even attempting to stop the uncontrolled expansion of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and their supporters. Although they will not say it explicitly and publicly, they know the above are puppets of university administrators and their supporters. Therefore, Duquesne Light executives are moving forward quickly and confidently with their plans, feeding the cancerous expansion in Oakland.

Both of you have allowed, and are continuing to allow, the further destruction of Oakland by showing zero support for a moratorium on construction in Oakland, or for a comprehensive, in-depth Neighborhood Impact Study as to how Pitt’s Institutional Master Plan will affect not only Panther Hollow, but all of greater Oakland now and for generations to come.

This massive, disruptive substation is basically only for satisfying the needs and wants of the universities and their supporters, not for satisfying the needs and wants of our residential community.

Perhaps the rhetorical question at the beginning of this letter should be made declaratory: There should be a criminal investigation into the Duquesne Light Riazzi Substation in Panther Hollow.

Carlino Giampolo

January 8, 2020