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PUC Developing Rules To Focus On Preserving Water Resources, Limiting Leaks, Reducing Company Risk, Enhancing Customer Service

PUC Developing Rules To Focus On Preserving Water Resources, Limiting Leaks, Reducing Company Risk, Enhancing Customer Service

From: PA Environment Digest
Edited by David E. Hess

On September 17, the Public Utility Commission approved issuance of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking comments from interested parties regarding the replacement of an existing PUC policy statement with regulations intended to more comprehensively address water loss in public utility water systems across the Commonwealth.

The Commission voted 4-0 to adopt the ANOPR, which would implement the Water Audit Methodology, developed by the International Water Association and American Water Works Association, as a best management practice in water loss control in Pennsylvania.

The proposed regulations would replace an existing PUC policy statement that addresses water conservation and “unaccounted-for-water.”

The Commission has determined that, rather than revising its existing policy statement, a new regulation addressing water conservation is necessary and the ANOPR reflects this change.

In seeking comments, the Commission noted that since 2012 all of Pennsylvania’s Class A water utilities – systems with annual revenues over $1,000,000 – have been required by the PUC to file annual Water Audit summaries.

Additionally, the proposed PUC regulations would be consistent with regulations for the Department of Environmental Protection – which require certain reporting of system unaccounted for water loss exceeding 20 percent – and aligns with guidance from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and Delaware River Basin Commission.

More specifically, the Commission is requesting comments regarding specific costs and/or savings associated with implementation of the Water Audit Methodology, including legal, accounting or consulting procedures which may be required.

Also, the Commission is inviting comments as to whether the Water Audit Methodology should be extended to the other jurisdictional water utilities.

Interested parties may submit written comments, via the Commission’s electronic filing system, referencing Docket No. L-2020-3019521 within 45 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Comments shall be filed consistent with the Commission’s Secretarial Letter issued on July 27, 2020, regarding filings with the PUC.

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