Legislative News Updates
Water Resources Advisory Committee Meeting Cancellation
The May 11, 2016, meeting of the Water Resources Advisory Committee (Committee)
has been canceled. The next Committee meeting will be rescheduled in June 2016. Details on future meetings will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Questions concerning the Committee can be directed to Lee McDonnell, (717) 787-5017 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. The agenda and meeting materials for the next meeting will be available through the Public Participation tab on the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) web site at www.dep.pa.gov.
Source: PA Bulletin, 4/30/2016 http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol46/46-18/745.html
Godshall Bill to Address Deteriorating Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Becomes Law
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) to fix deteriorating water and wastewater systems while protecting ratepayers was signed into law on April 14, 2016 by Gov. Tom Wolf. “Currently, there are community-owned and private water and wastewater utilities whose system infrastructure is in dire need of repair or
replacement, but system owners cannot afford to make the needed upgrades without sharp rate increases for customers,” said Godshall, who is chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee.
“House Bill 1326 enables these utilities to be acquired by larger companies that are regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and are capable of making the needed improvements and avoiding rate shock for consumers. Municipal utilities are not regulated by the PUC.
“Our present methods of valuating utility property discouraged these acquisitions because the purchasing utility might not be able to recover its investment. However, my bill establishes a process by which the fair market value can be determined
for rate-making purposes. It offers accountability and predictability for utility customers.” Under this new law, the PUC will be responsible for approving all public utility acquisitions, appraisals and post-acquisition rates and, in doing so, would establish a fair market value. The purchasing utility would make the needed
improvements, ensuring a safe, reliable water or wastewater system for its customers.
Utility rates for consumers cannot change before the purchasing utility goes before the PUC for a rate adjustment. It is the PUC’s responsibility to ensure fairness for consumers, which may involve a phase- in of rates if necessary infrastructure improvements are extensive.
“Many communities across this Commonwealth have aging water and wastewater systems,” said Godshall. “This new law will help to ensure the integrity of those systems and a fair price to consumers.”
Source: Rep. Godshall Press Release, 4/14/2016
Legislative Online Resources
Blog: EPA Moves Forward For America's Drinking Water
Recent water quality issues in Flint, Michigan have rightly focused national attention on America's drinking water. EPA is committed to working together with our governmental partners, communities and stakeholders to strengthen the nation's drinking water systems. Beginning next month, EPA will lead a series of engagements to inform a national action plan on drinking water, to be released by the end of the year. In addition, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has begun a new study of the science and technology relevant to ensuring the safety of the nation's drinking water.
Learn More. https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2016/04/moving-forward-for-americas-drinking-water/
By Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water
Source: Water Headlines from EPA, 4/27/2016
EPA News Update
EPA has posted a revised Summary of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act and Frequently Asked Questions in anticipation of the exemption for fire hydrants in the Community Fire Safety Act of 2013. Click Here to view the revised document.