Florida Senate - 2014 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. CS for CS for SB 272 Ì312734#Î312734 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: RCS . 03/13/2014 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Section 367.072, Florida Statutes, is created to 6 read: 7 367.072 Petition to revoke certificate of authorization. 8 The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest that 9 water service be of good quality and consistent with the 10 standards set forth in this chapter. Therefore, a utility’s 11 certificate of authorization to provide water service may be 12 revoked if, after its customers file a petition with the 13 commission, the commission finds that revocation is in the best 14 interest of the customers in accordance with this section. As 15 used in this section, the term “customer” means an individual 16 whose property is serviced by a single meter or a person whose 17 name appears on the bill for a master meter. 18 (1) If the commission receives a letter from the customers 19 of a utility stating their intent to file a petition, the 20 utility is prohibited from filing a rate case until the petition 21 is acted upon by the commission. 22 (a) Within 10 days after receipt of the letter, commission 23 staff shall notify the utility of the customers’ intent to file 24 a petition and that the utility may not file for a rate increase 25 until the petition is acted upon by the commission. 26 (b) Commission staff shall send to the customers 27 instructions regarding the information required on the petition 28 and the subsequent process the commission will follow. The 29 petition must be filed within 90 days after the receipt of the 30 instruction. Commission staff shall review the petition and 31 notify the customers within 10 days after receipt of the 32 petition that the petition is sufficient for the commission to 33 act or that additional information is necessary. The customers 34 must file a cured petition within 30 days after receipt of the 35 notice to cure and provide a copy of the petition to the 36 utility. If the customers fail to file or refile a petition 37 within the allotted time, the commission shall dismiss the 38 petition with prejudice, and the customers may not file another 39 petition for 1 year after the dismissal. 40 (2) A petition must: 41 (a) State with specificity each issue that customers have 42 with the quality of water service, each time the problem was 43 reported to the utility, and how long each issue has existed; 44 and 45 (b) Be signed by at least 65 percent of the customers of 46 the service area covered under the certificate of authorization. 47 A person whose name appears on the bill for a master meter may 48 sign a petition if at least 65 percent of the customers, 49 tenants, or unit owners served by the master meter support the 50 petition, in which case documentation of such support must be 51 included with the petition. 52 (3) If the petition is in compliance with this section and 53 the issues identified within the petition support a reasonable 54 likelihood that the utility is failing to provide quality of 55 water service, a docket shall be opened. The utility shall use 56 the following criteria in preparing a response to the 57 commission, addressing the issues identified within the petition 58 and defending the quality of its water service: 59 (a) Federal and state primary water quality standards or 60 secondary water quality standards pursuant to s. 367.0812; and 61 (b) The relationship between the utility and its customers, 62 including each complaint received regarding the quality of water 63 service, the length of time each customer has been complaining 64 about the service, the resolution of each complaint, and the 65 time it has taken to address such complaints. 66 (4) The commission shall evaluate the issues identified in 67 the petition, the utility’s response as to whether it is 68 providing quality of water service, and any other factor the 69 commission deems relevant. 70 (5) Based upon its evaluation, the commission shall: 71 (a) Dismiss the petition, in which case the decision must 72 be supported by clear and convincing evidence and is subject to 73 ss. 120.569 and 120.57; 74 (b) Require the utility to take the necessary steps to 75 correct the quality of water service issues identified in the 76 petition. The commission shall set benchmarks within a 77 timeframe, not to exceed 3 years, and may require the utility to 78 provide interim reports describing its progress in meeting such 79 benchmarks. The commission may extend the term 3 years for 80 circumstances that delay the project which are not in the 81 control of the utility, such as natural disasters and obtaining 82 permits necessary for meeting such benchmarks; or 83 (c) Notwithstanding s. 367.045, revoke the utility’s 84 certificate of authorization, in which case a receiver must be 85 appointed pursuant to s. 367.165 until a sale of the utility 86 system has been approved pursuant to s. 367.071. 87 (6) The commission shall adopt by rule the format of and 88 requirements for a petition and may adopt other rules to 89 administer this section. 90 Section 2. Section 367.0812, Florida Statutes, is created 91 to read: 92 367.0812 Rate fixing; quality of water service as 93 criterion.— 94 (1) In fixing rates that are just, reasonable, 95 compensatory, and not unfairly discriminatory, the commission 96 shall consider the extent to which the utility provides water 97 service that meets secondary water quality standards as 98 established by the Department of Environmental Protection. In 99 determining whether a utility has satisfied its obligation to 100 provide quality of water service that meets these standards, the 101 commission shall consider: 102 (a) Testimony and evidence provided by customers and the 103 utility; 104 (b) The results of past tests required by a county health 105 department or the Department of Environmental Protection which 106 measure the utility’s compliance with the applicable secondary 107 water quality standards; 108 (c) Complaints regarding the applicable secondary water 109 quality standards filed by customers with the commission, the 110 Department of Environmental Protection, the respective local 111 governmental entity, or a county health department during the 112 past 5 years; and 113 (d) If the commission deems necessary, the results of any 114 updated test. 115 (2)(a) In determining the quality of water service, the 116 commission shall consider a finding by the Department of 117 Environmental Protection as to whether the utility has failed to 118 provide water service that meets the secondary water quality 119 standards of the department. 120 (b) The utility shall create an estimate of the costs and 121 benefits of a plausible solution to each issue identified by the 122 commission. 123 (c) The utility shall meet with its customers within a time 124 prescribed by the commission to discuss the estimated costs and 125 benefits of and time necessary for implementing a plausible 126 solution for each quality of water service issue identified, and 127 the utility shall report the results of such meetings to the 128 commission. 129 (d) The utility shall inform the commission, if: 130 1. The customers and the utility agree on a solution for 131 each quality of water service issue identified, of each agreed 132 on solution and the cost of each solution; or 133 2. The customers and the utility prefer a different 134 solution to at least one of the quality of water service issues 135 identified, of the preferred solutions by each and the cost of 136 each solution. 137 (e) The commission may require the utility to implement a 138 solution that is in the best interest of the customers for each 139 quality of water service issue. The utility may recover its 140 costs in implementing the solutions ordered by the commission. 141 The commission may establish the necessary benchmarks that a 142 utility must meet for each solution and require the utility to 143 report periodically until each solution is completed. 144 (3) Notwithstanding s. 367.072, customers may not petition 145 the commission to revoke the certificate of authorization of a 146 utility if it is the subject of a proceeding under this chapter. 147 (4) The commission may prescribe penalties for a utility’s 148 failure to adequately resolve each quality of water service 149 issue as required. Penalties may include penalties as provided 150 in s. 367.161, a reduction of return on equity of up to 100 151 basis points, the denial of all or part of a rate increase for a 152 utility’s system or part of a system if it determines that the 153 quality of water service is less than satisfactory until the 154 quality of water is found to be satisfactory, or revocation of 155 the certificate of authorization pursuant to s. 367.072. 156 (5) The commission shall adopt rules to assess and enforce 157 compliance with this section. 158 Section 3. For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the sums of 159 $212,521 in recurring funds and $12,012 in nonrecurring funds 160 from the General Revenue Fund and three full-time equivalent 161 positions with an associated salary rate of 131,235 are 162 appropriated to the Florida Public Service Commission to 163 implement the provisions of this act related to the regulation 164 of the quality of water service. 165 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014. 166 167 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 168 And the title is amended as follows: 169 Delete everything before the enacting clause 170 and insert: 171 A bill to be entitled 172 An act relating to water utilities; creating s. 173 367.072, F.S.; providing legislative findings; 174 defining the term “customer”; authorizing the Florida 175 Public Service Commission to revoke a certificate of 176 authorization upon receipt of a petition; providing 177 criteria for such petition; authorizing the commission 178 to adopt rules; creating s. 367.0812, F.S.; requiring 179 the commission to consider the quality of water 180 service when fixing rates; providing criteria that the 181 commission must consider in making its determination 182 on the petition; requiring the utility to meet with 183 its customers to discuss the costs and benefits of 184 plausible solutions if the commission finds that the 185 utility has failed to meet certain quality of water 186 standards; prohibiting a customer from petitioning the 187 commission to revoke the certificate of authorization 188 of a utility under certain circumstances; authorizing 189 the commission to prescribe penalties for certain 190 failures of the utility; requiring the commission to 191 adopt rules; providing an appropriation; providing an 192 effective date.