Florida Senate - 2014                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 272
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  03/13/2014           .                                

    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 367.072, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         367.072Petition 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.
  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.