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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s being characterized as a new partnership to supply drinking water to some 111,000 customers of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Peoples Natural Gas began campaigning for a joint venture in early July. The proposal requires public hearings before Pittsburgh City Council takes the plan into consideration.

pwsa peoples gas hearing Proposed Partnership Between Peoples Natural Gas PWSA Has Support, But Also Critics

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Several residents and activists spoke at a public meeting in Council chambers Wednesday night.

Many worry that any level of privatization would lead to less control, and, eventually, higher rates.

Peoples, earlier, had revealed plans for a $350 million water treatment facility along the Allegheny River in O’Hara Township. The company promising a state-of-the-art plant that would supply cleaner water.

pwsa peoples gas partnership Proposed Partnership Between Peoples Natural Gas PWSA Has Support, But Also Critics

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There’s also talk of a three-year rate freeze.

Critics argue oversight by any private company would put profits over the public interest.