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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of May 24, 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 24, 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 June 7 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of April 26, 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

  • All matters approved as submitted.

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • UGI Utilities, UGI Central Penn and UGI Penn Natural Gas, 2221061-AUD, D-2011-2221061, D-2011-2221062, D-2011-2221063.  The matter was postponed from the 05/10/12 Public Meeting.  Focused Management and Operations Audit Report.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission make the Audit Report and UGI's Implementation Plan public.  Commissioner Gardner’s Statement, with which Commissioner Cawley associates, is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp, 2228385-AUD, D-2011-2228385.  Focused Management and Operations Audit.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission make the Audit Report and NFGDC's Implementation Plan public.  Commissioner Gardner’s Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • Clean Treatment Sewage Investigation, 2109324-OSA, I-2009-2109324.  Investigation initiated by Order entered 5/15/09 at Docket No. C-20078197. Four prehearing conferences were held in this matter. At the fourth status conference held on 11/08/11, the Parties submitted a Joint Stipulation Addressing the Requirements of Section 529(a) of the Public Utility Code. The hearing convened as scheduled on 11/15/11, and the Joint Stipulation was admitted into the record. On 1/25/12, Clean Treatment Sewage Company (CTSC) filed a Motion Re Security for New Capital Financing. On 2/14/12, the OCA filed an Answer in Opposition to the Motion, and Delaware Township filed an Objection to the Motion. The Recommended Decision was issued on 1/31/12. PA American Water filed Exceptions on 2/8/12, and CTSC and the OCA filed Exceptions on 2/10/12. CTSC, the OCA, and the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement filed Replies to Exceptions on 2/17/12. RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order.  Chairman Powelson’s Statement is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • UGI Utilities Corp, 2141712-OSA, M-2012-2141712.  The matter was postponed from the 04/26/2012 Public Meeting.  Settlement Agreement filed on 2/3/12, for approval by the Commission with regard to an incident involving damage to a natural gas tapping tee at the site of an excavation in Mountville that resulted in the escape of natural gas.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order issuing the Settlement Agreement for comments by any interested party.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion rejecting the Settlement is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • UGI Central Penn Gas, Inc., 2155312-OSA, M-2011-2155312.  Joint Petition filed on 9/20/11, requesting approval of a Settlement Agreement related to an incident involving a UGI four-inch high pressure natural gas distribution line that was damaged by a private contractor while installing a new sewer and water main for the Bedford Township Municipal Authority. The damage to the gas line, alleged to have occurred because UGI failed to mark its lines in accordance with established procedures, caused natural gas to leak at a high rate in an excavation area located in an unpopulated section of Bedford Springs, Bedford County. By Order entered 12/2/11, the Commission was seeking comments to the proposed Settlement Agreement from interested parties. On 12/9/11, the Dollar Energy Fund submitted comments. Replies to Comments were not filed.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order granting the Petition and adopting the Settlement Agreement without modification.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion rejecting the Settlement is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • PECO Energy Company-Gas, 2205782-OSA, M-2012-2205782The matter was postponed the 04/26/2012 Public Meeting.  Following a fire and explosion at a residence on 12/26/09 in Montgomery County, BI&E launched an informal investigation into the practices and procedures of PECO’s natural gas operations. On 12/2/11, BI&E and PECO filed a Settlement Agreement and a Joint Statement in Support thereof. The Settlement, inter alia, makes specific findings regarding PECO’s actions, requires PECO to retrain its emergency response crews, and imposes a fine of $35,000. RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order which directs that the Settlement and Joint Statement be issued for comments by interested parties.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion, recommending a civil penalty of $75,000 which is not to be recovered in base rates, rather than a civil settlement, is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • Pike County Light & Power Co-Electric, 2252042-OSA, P-2011-2252042.  Petition for Approval of its Default Service Implementation Plan filed on 7/15/11, pursuant to 66 Pa. C.S. §§2801 et seq. Answers to the Petition were filed by the OCA and the OSBA on 8/4/11. The Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (BI&E) filed a Notice of Appearance. Direct Energy filed an unopposed Petition to Intervene on 8/8/11. On 8/12/11, a Prehearing Conference was held. All Parties agreed to waive cross-examination of witnesses in this case.  On 11/7/11, a Joint Motion for Admission of Testimony and Exhibits was submitted by the Parties and was granted by Order dated 11/8/11. By Recommended Decision issued on 2/14/12, the ALJ adopted the OCA’s position of including an on-peak fixed price financial hedge contract for a portion of the on-peak residential default service load. Exceptions were filed by Direct Energy and Pike on 3/5/12.  Replies to Exceptions.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order reversing the ALJ's Recommended Decision, granting, in part and denying, in part the Parties Exceptions.  Oral Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Witmer.  Vote 4-1.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • Bounce Energy PA LLC, 2246617-FUS, A-2011-2246617.  The matter was postponed from the 5/10/12 Public Meeting.  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.  Commissioner Gardner’s Motion, imposing conditions on Bounce’s license, is attached.  Vote 5-0.
  • VCharge Inc., 2274476-FUS, A-2011-2274476.  The matter was postponed from the 5/10/12 Public Meeting.  Application filed on 9/2/11, for approval for a license to offer, render, furnish or supply electricity or electric generation services as a supplier to residential, large commercial (over 25 kw demand), small commercial (25 kw and under demand), governmental and industrial customers in the electric distribution company service territory of PPL. The application also contained a request that a reduced supplier bond of $50,000 be approved.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission approve the application, but deny the request for a lower bonding level.  Commissioner Cawley’s Motion, limiting VCharge’s license authority as a supplier to a pilot program of 250 residential RTS customers in PPL’s service territory, is attached.  Commissioner Witmer’s Dissenting Statement, with which Commissioner Gardner associates, is attached.  Vote 3-2.

LAW BUREAU

  • All matters approved as submitted.  

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

  • All matters approved as submitted.

CARRY-IN AGENDA

BUREAU OF AUDITS

  • PPL Electric Utilities Corp., 2302829-AUD, M-2012-2302829.  Act 129 Compliance Rider Surcharge.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission direct PPL to submit, within 10 days, the appropriate tariff supplement to become effective 6/1/12, reflecting the revised ACR rates.  Chairman Powelson’s Statement, with which Commissioner Cawley associates, is attached.  Vote 5-0.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • All matters approved as submitted.  

LAW BUREAU

  • ACT 127-Gas & Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Act, 2282031-LAW, M-2012-2282031.  The Commission is adopting a Tentative Order to revise its February 16, 2012, Act 127 Implementation Order to explicitly include Class 1 Transmission lines as part of its jurisdiction, and to require pipeline operators of Class 1 Transmission lines to register with the Commission.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Tentative Order.  Vote 5-0.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • A special Memorial Day Observance Program was held before meeting.
  • PUC Emerging Leaders Program wraps up today, with 23 individuals graduating.

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, June 7, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M

* Denotes Order

 

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