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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of May 10, 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 May 10, 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 May 24 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of April 12, 2012, were, by a vote of 5-0, approved without modification.

MAIN AGENDA

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES (Transportation)

  • All matters approved as submitted.  

DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIONS

  • Evaluation of Proposals to Select a Contractor, 2301931-BAS.  The Commission is seeking to secure outside legal counsel to advise the Commission regarding local zoning and municipality law, to aid in the implementation of Act 13 (Marcellus Shale Impact Fee).  The term of the contract will be from the effective date of the contract until 4/30/13, and, if requested by the Commission, two optional six month terms thereafter.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission approve the contractor selected by the Evaluation Committee.  Commissioner Witmer’s Conflicts Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • UGI Utilities, UGI Central Penn and UGI Penn Natural Gas, 2221061-AUD, D-2011-2221061, D-2011-2221062, D-2011-2221063.  Focused Management and Operations Audit Report.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission make the Audit Report and UGI's Implementation Plan public.  The matter has been postponed to the 05/24/12 Public Meeting. 

DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY OPERATIONS

  • All matters approved as submitted.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • Reach For The Stars Limo Serv, 1156465-OSA, A-00117258.  This matter was postponed from the 04/26/12 Public Meeting.  Secretarial Letter issued on 8/22/11, cancelling the Certificate of Public Convenience issued to Petitioner at Docket No. A 00117258 on 8/30/00. Reach for the Stars failed to respond to a Complaint by the Bureau of Transportation and Safety at Docket No. C-2011-2245156, involving failure to maintain evidence of insurance on file with the Commission. On 1/5/12, a Petition requesting reinstatement of its Certificate was filed. BTS did not file an answer to the Petition.   RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order that grants the Petition for Reinstatement.  Vote 5-0.
  • Bureau of Transportation & Safety vs. Okey Cab Co, 2132453-OSA, C-2010-2132453.  The matter was postponed from the 04/26/12 Public Meeting. Complaint initiated on 4/9/10, alleging failure to file a valid tariff with the Commission in violation of the Commission's regulations. The Respondent filed an Answer on 6/4/10. A hearing was held on 10/26/11.  ALJ Nguyen issued an Initial Decision on 2/2/12, in which he recommended that the Complaint be dismissed because the Respondent had not violated any Commission Regulation. On 2/10/12, the BTS filed Exceptions to the Initial Decision.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order that: (1) reverses the Initial Decision; (2) remands the matter to the OALJ for further action as deemed necessary; and (3) orders the Respondent to have its attorney file a Notice of Appearance.  Vote 4-1, with Commissioner Cawley dissenting. 
  • Equitable Gas Co., 2185982-OSA, M-2011-2185982.  Informal investigation initiated on 8/6/10, regarding the transfer of intellectual property to EQT IP Ventures, LLC and affiliated interest transactions with EQT IP Ventures, LLC. On 12/2/11, the Prosecutory Staff and Equitable filed a Settlement Agreement to resolve the matters relating to the informal investigation. By Order entered 1/27/12, the Commission issued the proposed Settlement for comment. Comments were filed by Prosecutory Staff on 2/13/12 and by Equitable and the OCA on 2/16/12.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which adopts the Settlement.  Vice Chairman Coleman’s Conflicts Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Comcast Phone of PA LLC and Verizon PA, 2291763-OSA, A-2012-2291763.  Joint Petition filed on 3/5/12, seeking approval of Amendment No. 3 to an Interconnection Agreement pursuant to Section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Notice was published in the PA Bulletin.  No comments or protests were received.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which grants the Joint Petition.  Vote 5-0.
  • Comcast Phone of PA LLC and Verizon North, 2291794-OSA, A-2012-2291794.  Joint Petition filed on 3/5/12, seeking approval of Amendment No. 3 to an Interconnection Agreement pursuant to Section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Notice was published in the PA Bulletin.  No comments or protests were received.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which grants the Joint Petition.  Vote 5-0.
  • Comcast Business Communications and Verizon PA, 2291803-OSA, A-2012-2291803.  Joint Petition filed on 3/5/12, seeking approval of Amendment No. 1 to an Interconnection Agreement pursuant to Section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Notice was published in the PA Bulletin.  No comments or protests were received.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which grants the Joint Petition.  Vote 5-0.
  • Comcast Business Communications and Verizon North, 2291840-OSA, A-2012-2291840.  Joint Petition filed on 3/5/12, seeking approval of Amendment No. 1 to an Interconnection Agreement pursuant to Section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Notice was published in the PA Bulletin.  No comments or protests were received.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which grants the Joint Petition.  Vote 5-0.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • Bounce Energy PA LLC, 2246617-FUS, A-2011-2246617.  Application filed on 5/27/11, for approval for a license to offer, render, furnish or supply electricity or electric generation services as a supplier of electricity serving residential, small commercial, large commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the electric distribution company service territories throughout PA.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order which approves the application. The matter has been postponed to the 05/24/12 Public Meeting.
  • Newtown Artesian Water Co., 2295491-FUS, S-2012-2295491.  Securities certificate filed on 3/26/12, for approval with respect to the modification of debt. No protests were filed and no hearings were held. On 4/20/12, Newtown Artesian Water filed a voluntary extension of the consideration period until 5/11/12.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Order.  Vote 5-0.
  • Newtown Artesian Water Co., 2295500-FUS, S-2012-2295500.  Securities certificate filed on 3/26/12, for approval with respect to the modification of debt. No protests were filed and no hearings were held. On 4/20/12, Newtown Artesian Water filed a voluntary extension of the consideration period until 5/11/12.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order.  Vote 5-0.
  • Equitable Gas Co., 2295982-FUS, S-2012-2295982, G-2012-2296329.  Securities certificate filed on 3/28/12, for approval for the issuance of a long term promissory note in a principal amount of $338,204,728, and approval of an affiliated interest agreement concerning the issuance of promissory notes between Equitable Gas Company, LLC and EQT Capital Corporation. On 4/12/12, Equitable Gas agreed to voluntarily extend the statutory consideration period of the filing through 5/11/12.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order which approves the registration of the securities certificate and the affiliated interest agreement.  Vote 5-0.

LAW BUREAU

  • Implementation-Unconventional Gas Well Fee Act 13, 2288561-LAW, M-2012-2288561.  Act 13 of 2012 was signed into Law on 2/14/12, the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee (Act 13). The Commission’s administrative responsibilities for implementing of Act 13 are contained within Chapters 23 and 33. Chapter 23 addresses the determination, collection and disbursement of the impact fees established by Act 13. Chapter 33 addresses uniformity of local ordinances, the processes for obtaining advisory reviews and substantive reviews of disputed ordinances, and the ineligibility of a local government for impact fee disbursements if its local ordinance is inconsistent with Act 13. On 3/15/12, the Commission issued a Tentative Implementation Order for public comment. That Order addressed various issues in Act 13 and provided guidance to interested parties.  Comments were filed by various parties.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Final Implementation Order.  Vote 5-0.
  • Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program-Phase 2, 2289411-LAW, M-2012-2289411, M‑2008-2069887.  The Commission has been charged by the PA General Assembly with establishing an energy efficiency and conservation program (EE&C Program). The EE&C Program requires each electric distribution company (EDC) with at least 100,000 customers to adopt a plan to reduce energy demand and consumption within its service territory. The Commission is also charged with the responsibility to evaluate the costs and benefits of the EE&C Program by 11/30/13, and every five years thereafter. The Commission must adopt additional incremental reductions in consumption if the exceed its costs. With this Tentative Order, the Commission begins the process of evaluating the costs and benefits of the EE&C Program and establishing additional incremental reductions in consumption.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Tentative Implementation Order.  Statements by Commissioner Gardner and Commissioner Witmer are attached.  Partial Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Gardner, with which Commissioner Cawley joins, is also attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Distribution System Improvement Charge - Act 11, 2293611-LAW, M-2012-2293611.  Act 11, amending Chapters 3, 13, and 33 of the Title 66 of the PA Consolidated Statutes, was adopted on 2/14/12. The changes to Chapters 3 and 13 allow jurisdictional utilities to make rate case claims based on a fully projected future test year, allow wastewater utilities to allocate a portion of their revenue requirement to the combined wastewater and water utility customer base, and allows water and wastewater utilities, EDCs and NGDCs or a city natural gas distribution operation to petition for a DSIC. The changes to Chapter 33 increase the civil penalties for gas pipeline violations. This Tentative Implementation Order proposes procedures and guidelines to carry out the ratemaking provisions of Act 11 in Chapters 3 and 13. RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the Proposed Tentative Implementation Order.  Vote 5-0.
  • Southeastern Pa. Trans. Auth., 1119111-ALJ, I-00930028.  This matter was postponed from the 11/13/08 Public Meeting.  Investigation in the 41st Street Bridge crossing for hearing and recommendation for the purpose of whether the crossing should be eliminated, repaired or replaced with a newly constructed bridge consistent with Opinion and Order entered 12/17/08. A prehearing conference was held before ALJ Fordham on 6/18/09, who previously issued a Recommended Decision (1/20/95) and a Recommended Decision on Remand (1/23/02). On 3/19/10, the City filed and served a Stipulation of Counsel.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt ALJ Chestnut’s Recommended Decision on Further Remand approving of the Stipulation of Counsel without modification.  Vote 5-0.
  • West Penn Power Co. d/b/a Allegheny Power, 2093218-ALJ, M-2009-2093218.  Original EE&C/DR Plan filed on 6/30/09, in conformity with the requirements of Act 129 of 2008.  Act 129 requires a 1% reduction in energy consumption by 5/31/11, a 3% reduction in energy consumption by 5/31/13, and a 4.5% peak demand reduction by 5/31/13.  A Joint Petition for Settlement with Supporting Statements was filed on 1/6/12, and on 2/17/12, West Penn filed a Motion to Admit into Evidence the Company's Direct Testimony in support of the New Plan.  COMMISSION REVIEW:  That the Commission adopt ALJ Buckley’s Recommended Decision approving the Petition and the Motion.  Commissioner Cawley’s Partial Dissenting Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.

CARRY-IN AGENDA

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • All matters approved as submitted.

LAW BUREAU

  • Implementation of FCC Order, 2291824-LAW, M-2012-2291824.  Implementation of FCC directives, prescribing templates for tariff supplements, and Protective Order.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Order.  Vote 5-0.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Employee Recognition Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1.

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M. 

* Denotes Order

 

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