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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of March 1, 2012

Note: Audio from each public meeting is available on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website for approximately six months.  To access the audio stream for this public meeting, please visit http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/PMAudio.aspx.  The public meeting calendar and agendas may be viewed at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/general/public_meeting.aspx.

          At the March 1, 2012, Public Meeting of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“Commission”), the Commissioners adopted Staff’s recommendations for action by a vote of 5-0 on all items listed on the Main Agenda and Carry-In Agenda, except as reflected herein below under the respective Commission agenda headings.  Review of particular items addressed by the Commissioners at this Public Meeting which may be of interest are addressed under the respective Commission agenda headings below.  Any relevant motions and statements are attached hereto and to the original of this Session Memo filed in the Public Meeting Agenda and Session Memo binder.  The next regular Public Meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 15 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of January 27, 2012, were, by a vote of 5-0, approved without modification.

MAIN AGENDA

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL SERVICES & BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION & ENFORCEMENT (Transportation)

  • DNA AMBULANCE INC., 2194537-TAS, A-2010-2194537.  Application for the right to begin to transport as a common carrier by motor vehicle, persons in paratransit service.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order dismissing the application.  Vote 5-0.
  • B. M. Enterprises Inc. t/a A. G. Taxi, 2267856-TAS, A-2011-2267856, A-00121368.  Application for the right to transport as a common carrier by motor vehicle, persons upon call or demand.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order approving the application.  Vote 5-0.

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • All matters approved as submitted.

BUREAU OF CONSUMER SERVICES

  • Met-Ed, Penelec, and Penn Power, 2231038-BCS, M-2011-2231038.  The matter was postponed from the 02/16/2012 Public Meeting.  Universal Service and Energy Conservation Plans for 2012-2014 filed on 2/28/11, and amended Plans filed on 8/26/11 in accordance with the Commission’s regulations at 52 Pa. Code §§54.71-78. RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Final Order, which approves the First Energy Companies’ Plans.  Commissioner Cawley’s Statement, with which Commissioner Gardner associates, is attached.  Vote 5-0.

DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY OPERATIONS

  • Investigation of Pa's Retail Electricity, 2237952-DIR, I-2011-2237952.  Establishing an intermediate work plan prepared by the PA PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight. This work plan is provided pursuant to the Commission’s pending Investigation of Pennsylvania’s Retail Electricity Market. In designating this work plan as intermediate, OCMO proposes that all issues and goals included herein be implemented prior to the expiration of the EDCs’ next round of default service plans. The intermediate work plan provides recommendations regarding the following topics: (1) the expansion of consumer education; (2) the initiation of a customer referral program; (3) the initiation of a retail opt-in auction program; (4) the inclusion of the default PTC on customer bills; and (5) the increase in coordination between EDCs and EGSs. RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the Final Order.  Chairman Powelson’s Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0. 
  • Duquesne Light Company, 2287755-DIR, P-2012-2287755, M-2008-2032278.  Petition filed 2/3/12, seeking to amend its Consumer Education Plan to provide funding for 3 consumer education mailings in 2012, and for mailings related to the Eligible Customer List Reconsideration Order.  Also, requesting the opportunity to recover costs associated with these mailings through the existing Consumer Education Surcharge contained its tariff. No answers in opposition were filed.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order.  Vote 5-0.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • Equitable Gas Company (NGS Supplier), 1505395-OSA, M-2009-1505395.  The matter has been postponed to the 02/16/12.  Settlement Agreement file on 5/11/09, to resolve multiple alleged violations of the Commission’s Regulations and the Code of Federal Regulations regarding natural gas pipeline safety. As part of the Settlement, Equitable agreed to pay $65,000 into its Hardship Fund in lieu of a civil penalty. By Order entered 11/25/09, the Commission modified the Agreement to require Equitable to pay an additional $65,000 in civil penalties and sought comments with respect to the modification. Equitable filed comments objecting to the modification. Upon review of the comments, the Commission adopted the modified Settlement by its Order entered on 5/10/10. By letter dated 6/9/10, Equitable withdrew from the Settlement causing the proceeding to revert to its informal investigation status. On 10/27/11, LBPS and Equitable filed a Renegotiated Settlement Agreement with respect to the Informal Investigation conducted by the LBPS.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order.  Commissioner Witmer’s Dissenting Statement is attached.  Vote 4-1.
  • Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line T/A Trailco., 2187540-OSA, A-2010-2187540, A‑2010-2187542.  Application filed on 7/9/10.  On 5/4/11. the Commission issued ALJ Dunderdale's Recommended Decision. No Exceptions were filed. On 5/23/11, Trailco filed a Petition to Reopen the Evidentiary Record and to Stay the Exception Period. On 7/5/11, the Commission issued ALJ Dunderdale's Recommended Decision on Remand. On 12/30/11, Trailco filed an Exception.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which grants the Exception to the ALJ's Recommended Decision on Remand and adopts the ALJ's Recommended Decision and the Recommended Decision on Remand as modified by this Opinion and Order.  The matter has been postponed to the 03/15/12 Public Meeting. 

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • Tybec Energy Management Specialists Inc., 2242385-FUS, A-2011-2242385Application filed on 5/20/11, for approval to offer, render, furnish, or supply natural gas supply services to small commercial, large commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the service territories of NFG, Peoples Natural Gas, Peoples TWP, Columbia Gas, and Philadelphia Gas Works within PA, as a broker/marketer engaged in the business of supplying natural gas services.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order which approves the application.  Commissioner Witmer’s Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program - Phase 2, 2289411-FUS, M-2012-2289411, M-2008-2069887.  The Commission begins the process of evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the EE&C Program and determining whether additional incremental consumption and peak demand reduction targets shall be adopted. Comments on important topics and issues will be instrumental in designing and implementing the next phase of the EE&C Program.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Secretarial Letter.  Chairman Powelson’s Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.

LAW BUREAU

  • Rulemaking - Amendment 52 Pa Code § 59.33 (Safety), 2034622-LAW, L-2008-2034622.  Section 102 of the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa. C.S.A. §102, defines a public utility as “Any person or corporations now or hereafter owning or operating in the Commonwealth equipment or facilities for . . . (v) Transporting or conveying natural or artificial gas, crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum products, materials for refrigeration, or oxygen or nitrogen, or other fluid substance, by pipeline or conduit, for the public for compensation.” Id. § 102(1)(v). The PUC exercises jurisdiction over petroleum and oil pipeline utilities.  The Commission also has jurisdiction over hazardous materials and liquid fuels transported via pipeline or conduit, but has no specific regulations in place to effectively address enforcement and safety issues. We intend to adopt safety regulations to address hazardous materials and liquid fuels as consistent with 49 C.F.R. § 195.0 et seq., and in accordance with the Pipeline Safety Grant Program Payment Agreement entered into with the Department of Transportation.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Final Rulemaking Order.  Vote 5-0.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

  • All matters approved as submitted.

CARRY-IN AGENDA

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • All matters approved as submitted.

SUPPLEMENTAL CARRY-IN AGENDA

DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

  • PUC Website Vendor Selection, 2290882-BASPUC Website Vendor.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission approve the vendor selection.  Vote 4-0, with Commissioner Witmer abstaining. 

NO ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M.

* Denotes Order

 

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