Florida Senate - 2014 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. CS for SB 272 Ì3825543Î382554 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: RCS . 02/04/2014 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 4 5 Delete everything after the enacting clause 6 and insert: 7 Section 1. Section 367.072, Florida Statutes, is created to 8 read: 9 367.072 Petition to revoke certificate of authorization. 10 The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest that 11 water and wastewater service be of good quality and consistent 12 with the standards set forth in this chapter. Therefore, a 13 utility’s certificate of authorization may be revoked if, after 14 its customers file a petition in accordance with this section, 15 the commission finds that revocation is in the best interest of 16 the customers. 17 (1) Customers must file a notice of intent with the 18 commission before filing a petition. Within 10 days after 19 receipt of a notice of intent, the commission staff shall: 20 (a) Notify the applicable utility that its customers have 21 filed a notice of intent; and 22 (b) Send the customers instructions detailing the required 23 format and content of the petition and the subsequent process 24 the commission must follow. 25 (2) Within 90 days after receipt of such instructions, the 26 customers must file a petition that, for the purpose of 27 determining whether a utility is providing satisfactory water 28 quality or wastewater service, must: 29 (a) State with specificity each issue that the customers 30 have with the water quality or wastewater service, each time the 31 problem was reported to the utility, and how long each issue has 32 existed; and 33 (b) Be signed by at least 65 percent of a utility’s 34 customers within a system. The term “customer” means an 35 individual who owns or rents property that is serviced by a 36 single meter or an individual whose name appears on the bill for 37 a master meter. Only one signature for each service address may 38 be included on the petition. An individual whose name appears on 39 the bill for a master meter may sign a petition if at least 65 40 percent of the heads of the households served by the master 41 meter, such as tenants or unit owners, support the petition, in 42 which case documentation of such support must be included with 43 the petition. 44 (3) The commission shall review the petition and, within 10 45 days after receipt, notify the customers whether the petition is 46 sufficient or whether additional information is required. If 47 additional information is required, the customers must file a 48 cured petition within 30 days after receipt of the notification. 49 If the customers fail to file the petition in accordance with 50 this subsection, the commission shall dismiss the petition, and 51 the customers may not file another petition for 1 year after the 52 date of dismissal. 53 (4) If the petition is in compliance with this section and 54 the issues identified within the petition support a reasonable 55 likelihood that the water or wastewater utility is failing to 56 provide quality water or wastewater service, a docket shall be 57 opened. Once opened, the utility may not file for a rate case 58 until the docket is closed. 59 (5) A copy of the petition and written notification 60 regarding the prohibition against filing a rate case while the 61 docket remains open must be provided to the utility. The utility 62 shall submit a response to the commission addressing the issues 63 identified within the petition and explaining whether it is 64 providing quality water or wastewater service using the 65 following criteria: 66 (a) Federal and state primary water and wastewater 67 standards or secondary water quality or wastewater service 68 standards provided in s. 367.0812; and 69 (b) The relationship between the utility and its customers, 70 including each complaint received regarding service quality, the 71 length of time each customer has been complaining about service, 72 the resolution of each complaint, and the time it has taken to 73 address such complaints. 74 (6) The commission shall evaluate the issues identified 75 within the petition, the utility’s response as to whether it is 76 providing quality water or wastewater service, and any other 77 factor the commission deems relevant. 78 (7) Notwithstanding s. 367.045 and based upon its 79 evaluation, the commission shall: 80 (a) Dismiss the petition if the decision is supported by 81 clear and convincing evidence, in which case the decision is 82 subject to ss. 120.569 and 120.57; 83 (b) Place the utility’s certificate on probationary status 84 and require the utility to take the necessary steps to correct 85 the water quality or wastewater service issues identified. The 86 commission shall set benchmarks within a timeframe, not to 87 exceed 3 years, and may require the utility to provide interim 88 reports describing its progress in meeting such benchmarks. The 89 commission may extend the timeframe for compliance beyond 3 90 years if the circumstances that delay the utility, such as 91 obtaining permits or natural disaster, are not within the 92 utility’s control; or 93 (c) Revoke the utility’s certificate of authorization, in 94 which case a receiver must be appointed pursuant to s. 367.165 95 until a sale of the utility system has been approved pursuant to 96 s. 367.071. 97 (8) The commission shall adopt by rule the format of and 98 requirements for a petition and may adopt other rules to 99 administer this section. 100 Section 2. Section 367.0812, Florida Statutes, is created 101 to read: 102 367.0812 Rate fixing; quality of water or wastewater 103 service as criterion.— 104 (1) In fixing rates that are just, reasonable, 105 compensatory, and not unfairly discriminatory, the commission 106 shall consider the extent to which the utility provides water 107 service that meets secondary water quality standards for taste, 108 odor, color, or corrosiveness, as established by the Department 109 of Environmental Protection. In determining whether a utility 110 has satisfied its obligation to provide water service to its 111 customers which meets the standards for taste, odor, color, or 112 corrosiveness, the commission shall consider: 113 (a) Testimony and evidence provided by customers and the 114 utility; 115 (b) The results of past tests required by the Department of 116 Environmental Protection which measure the utility’s compliance 117 with the applicable secondary water quality standards or with a 118 county health department; 119 (c) Complaints regarding the applicable secondary water 120 quality standards filed by customers with the commission or the 121 Department of Environmental Protection, or the respective local 122 governmental entity, or a county health department during the 123 past 5 years; and 124 (d) If the commission deems necessary, the results of any 125 updated test. 126 (2) In fixing just, reasonable, compensatory, and not 127 unfairly discriminatory rates, the commission shall consider the 128 extent to which the utility provides wastewater service to its 129 customers without generating odor, noise, aerosol drift, or 130 lighting in excess of the standards established by the 131 Department of Environmental Protection. In determining the 132 extent to which the utility provides wastewater service to its 133 customers without generating odor, noise, aerosol drift, or 134 lighting in excess of the standards by the Department of 135 Environmental Protection, the commission shall consider: 136 (a) Testimony and evidence provided by customers and the 137 utility; 138 (b) The results of past tests required by the Department of 139 Environmental Protection which measure the utility’s compliance 140 with the applicable standards established by the Department of 141 Environmental Protection; and 142 (c) Complaints regarding the alleged odor, noise, aerosol 143 drift, or lighting filed with the Department of Environmental 144 Protection or the commission, or the respective local 145 governmental entity, or a county health department during the 146 past 5 years. 147 (3)(a) In determining the quality of water or wastewater 148 service, the commission shall consider a finding by the 149 department as to whether a utility: 150 1. Has failed to provide water service that meets the 151 secondary water quality standards of the department regarding 152 taste, odor, color, or corrosiveness; or 153 2. Has generated odor, noise, aerosol drift, or lighting in 154 providing wastewater service in excess of the standards 155 established by the Department of Environmental Protection, 156 157 the utility shall create an estimate of the costs and benefits 158 of a plausible solution to each quality of water or wastewater 159 service issue identified by the commission. 160 (b) The utility shall meet with its customers within a time 161 prescribed by the commission to discuss the estimated costs and 162 benefits of and time necessary for implementing a plausible 163 solution for each quality of service issue identified, and the 164 utility shall report the results of such meeting to the 165 commission. 166 (c) The utility shall inform the commission if: 167 1. The customers and the utility agree on a solution for 168 each quality of service issue identified, what the solution is, 169 and the cost of the solution; or 170 2. The customers and the utility prefer a different 171 solution to at least one of the quality of service issues 172 identified and the solution and cost of the solution preferred 173 by each. 174 (d) The commission may require the utility to implement a 175 solution that is in the best interest of the customers for each 176 quality of service issue. The utility shall be allowed to 177 recover the costs of the solutions ordered by the commission. 178 The commission may establish the necessary benchmarks that a 179 utility must meet for each solution and require the utility to 180 report periodically until each solution is completed. 181 (4) Notwithstanding s. 367.072, customers may not petition 182 the commission to revoke the certificate of authorization of a 183 utility during the proceedings under this section. 184 (5) The commission may prescribe penalties for a utility’s 185 failure to adequately resolve each quality of water or 186 wastewater service issue as required. Penalties may include 187 fines as provided in s. 367.161; a reduction of return on equity 188 of up to 100 basis points; the denial of all or part of a rate 189 increase for a utility’s system or part of a system if the 190 commission determines that the water quality is less than 191 satisfactory, until the water quality is found to be 192 satisfactory; or cancellation of the certificate of 193 authorization under s. 367.072. 194 (6) The commission shall adopt rules to assess and enforce 195 compliance with this section. The Department of Environmental 196 Protection shall establish secondary wastewater service 197 standards regarding the generation of odor, noise, aerosol 198 drift, and lighting. 199 Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2014. 200 201 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 202 And the title is amended as follows: 203 Delete everything before the enacting clause 204 and insert: 205 A bill to be entitled 206 An act relating to water and wastewater utilities; 207 creating s. 367.072, F.S.; providing legislative 208 findings; authorizing the Florida Public Service 209 Commission to revoke a certificate of authorization 210 upon receipt of a petition; requiring customers to 211 file a notice of intent with the commission before 212 submitting a petition; providing criteria for such 213 petition; requiring the commission to take certain 214 steps in response to the petition; prohibiting the 215 customers from filing a petition within a specified 216 timeframe under certain circumstances; prohibiting a 217 utility from filing for a rate case under certain 218 circumstances; requiring the utility to submit a 219 response; requiring the commission to adopt rules; 220 creating s. 367.0812, F.S.; requiring the commission 221 to consider the quality of water or wastewater service 222 when fixing rates; providing criteria that the 223 commission must consider in making its determination; 224 requiring the utility to meet with its customers to 225 discuss the costs and benefits of plausible solutions 226 if the commission finds that the utility has failed to 227 meet certain water or wastewater quality standards; 228 requiring that the utility be allowed to recover the 229 costs of the solutions ordered by the commission; 230 prohibiting customers from petitioning the commission 231 to revoke the certificate of authorization of a 232 utility under certain circumstances; authorizing the 233 commission to impose penalties on a utility for 234 certain failures; requiring the commission to adopt 235 rules; requiring the Department of Environmental 236 Protection to establish secondary wastewater service 237 standards regarding the generation of odor, noise, 238 aerosol drift, and lighting; providing an effective 239 date.