HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has scheduled a series of public input hearings in November, including a statewide “Smart Hearing”, to gather comments on the proposed water and wastewater rate increases by Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. and Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater, Inc.
The PUC will hold six in-person public input hearings in Southeast Pennsylvania between November 13th and 15th; and one telephonic, in-person “Smart Hearing” in Harrisburg on November 16th that will be live-streamed on the PUC’s website (http://www.puc.pa.gov/about_puc/live_streaming_video.aspx). The hearings, conducted by PUC Administrative Law Judges Angela Jones and F. Joseph Brady, will be held at the following location and times:
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018
Hearings Start at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
880 W. Baltimore Pike
West Grove, PA 19390
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018
Hearing Starts at 1:00 p.m.
Montgomery County Community College
Science Center - 214 Small Auditorium
340 DeKalb Pike (For GPS and Google maps, use 1313 Morris Road)
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Hearing Starts at 6:00 p.m.
Bensalem Township High School
4319 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018
Hearing Starts at 1:00 p.m.
Springfield Township - Science Center Building
50 Powell Road
Springfield, PA 19064
Hearing Starts 6:00 p.m.
Upper Dublin High School
800 Loch Alsh Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 (Smart Hearing)
Hearing Starts at 10:00 a.m.
Commonwealth Keystone Building
Hearing Room 1 – Plaza Level
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Participation in the Smart Hearing may be in person (at the Harrisburg site) or by telephone (from any location). In-person participation requires no further action. Participation by telephone requires that interested persons contact the Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) by 3:45 PM on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, to provide their names, telephone numbers, and the topics of their testimony. They may call the OALJ at 717-787-1399 to register.
Rate Increase Request
On Sept. 20, 2018, the PUC voted to investigate the rate increase requests. Aqua Pennsylvania proposes to increase its annual operating revenues for water services by approximately $66.373 million (15.4 percent). Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater seeks a corresponding increase in its annual operating revenues for wastewater services by $5.369 million (40.1 percent). The total annual revenue increase request amounts to approximately $71.8 million.
Under the proposals, the average monthly bill for a residential Main Division water customer using 4,080 gallons per month would increase by $9.22 per month, from $59.85 to $69.07. The average monthly bill for a residential Media Division wastewater customer using 4,200 gallons per month would increase $20.73 from $42.19 to $62.92.
These revenue and rate increase requests are suspended for up to seven months and are assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judge for evidentiary hearings and the issuance of recommended decisions or settlements. More information on the ratemaking process is available on the Commission’s website.
Aqua Pennsylvania provides water service to more than 428,000 customers in portions of more than 200 municipalities throughout 32 Pennsylvania counties. Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater provides wastewater service to more than 19,000 customers in portions of more than 40 municipalities throughout 15 Pennsylvania counties. Collectively, the two companies serve nearly 1.4 million people throughout the Commonwealth.
Offering Comment at a Hearing
Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings and provide comments. Their testimony will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision.
The PUC and Office of Consumer Advocate offer tips on how to participate, including:
• Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read.
• Bring copies if you are attending an in-person hearing. If you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants.
• Understand that parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.
Any person with special needs wishing to attend the hearing may call the PUC scheduling office (717-787-1399) at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing to make arrangements. For persons who are deaf or hearing-impaired, the AT&T Relay Service number is 1-800-654-5988.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.
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