Florida Senate - 2014 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 272 Ì752326&Î752326 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: FAV . 01/15/2014 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— (Simpson) recommended the 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 and wastewater service be of good quality and consistent 10 with the standards set forth in this chapter. The Legislature 11 finds that the customers of a utility are in a position to 12 initially assess the quality of the water or wastewater service 13 provided. Therefore, a utility’s certificate of authorization 14 may be suspended or revoked if its customers file a petition 15 with the commission in accordance with this section. 16 (1) For the purpose of determining whether a utility is 17 providing quality water or wastewater service, a petition must: 18 (a) State with specificity each issue customers have with 19 the water or wastewater service; and 20 (b) Be signed by at least 65 percent of a system’s 21 customers. The term “customer” means an individual whose 22 property is serviced by a single meter or a person whose name 23 appears on the bill for a master meter. A person whose name 24 appears on the bill for a master meter may sign a petition if at 25 least 65 percent of the customers, tenants, or unit owners 26 served by the master meter support the petition, in which case 27 documentation of such support must be included with the 28 petition. 29 (2) Upon receipt, the commission shall review the petition 30 and determine if it is in compliance with this section and 31 whether the issues identified within the petition support a 32 finding that the water or wastewater utility is failing to 33 provide quality water or wastewater service. If the commission 34 finds that there is a reasonable likelihood that the utility is 35 not providing quality water or wastewater service, then it shall 36 submit a copy of the petition to the respective utility. The 37 utility shall submit a response to the commission addressing the 38 issues identified within the petition and explaining whether it 39 is providing quality water or wastewater service using the 40 following criteria: 41 (a) Federal, state, and local primary standards or quality 42 standards pursuant to s. 367.0812; and 43 (b) The relationship between the utility and its customers, 44 including each complaint received regarding service quality, the 45 length of time each customer has been complaining about service, 46 the resolution of each complaint, and the time it has taken to 47 address such complaints. 48 (3) The commission shall evaluate the issues identified 49 within the petition; the utility’s response as to whether it is 50 providing quality water or wastewater service; the rates of the 51 utility in comparison with other utilities of similar size and 52 operational characteristics; and any other factor the commission 53 deems relevant. 54 (4) Notwithstanding s. 367.045 and based upon its 55 evaluation, the commission shall: 56 (a) Dismiss the petition if the decision is supported by 57 competent substantial evidence, in which case the decision is 58 subject to ss. 120.569 and 120.57; 59 (b) Suspend the utility’s certificate and require the 60 utility to take the necessary steps to correct the water or 61 wastewater service issues identified. The commission shall set 62 benchmarks within a timeframe, not to exceed 3 years, and may 63 require the utility to provide interim reports describing its 64 progress in meeting such benchmarks; or 65 (c) Revoke the utility’s certificate, in which case a 66 receiver must be appointed pursuant to s. 367.165 until a sale 67 of the utility system has been approved pursuant to s. 367.071. 68 (5) The commission shall adopt by rule the format of and 69 requirements for a petition and may adopt other rules to 70 administer this section. 71 Section 2. Section 367.0812, Florida Statutes, is created 72 to read: 73 367.0812 Rate fixing; quality of water or wastewater 74 service as criterion.— 75 (1) In fixing rates that are just, reasonable, 76 compensatory, and not unfairly discriminatory, the commission 77 shall consider the extent to which the utility provides water 78 service that meets secondary water quality standards for taste, 79 odor, color, or corrosiveness, as established by the Department 80 of Environmental Protection, the respective water management 81 district, or the local governmental entity. The commission may 82 deny all or part of a rate increase for a utility’s system or 83 part of a system if it determines that the quality of water 84 service is less than satisfactory. In determining whether a 85 utility has satisfied its obligation to provide water service to 86 its customers which meets the standards for taste, odor, color, 87 or corrosiveness, the commission shall consider: 88 (a) Testimony and evidence provided by customers and the 89 utility; 90 (b) The results of past tests required by the Department of 91 Environmental Protection or a county health department which 92 measure the utility’s compliance with the applicable secondary 93 water quality standards; 94 (c) Complaints regarding the applicable secondary water 95 quality standards filed by customers with the commission, the 96 Department of Environmental Protection, the respective water 97 management district, or the respective local governmental entity 98 during the past 5 years; and 99 (d) If the commission deems necessary, the results of any 100 updated test. 101 (2) In fixing just, reasonable, compensatory, and not 102 unfairly discriminatory rates, the commission shall consider the 103 extent to which the utility provides wastewater service to its 104 customers without generating odor, noise, aerosol drift, or 105 lighting that adversely affects customers. The commission may 106 deny all or part of a rate increase for a utility’s system or 107 part of a system if it determines that the quality of wastewater 108 service is less than satisfactory. In determining the extent to 109 which the utility provides wastewater service to its customers 110 without generating odor, noise, aerosol drift, or lighting that 111 adversely affects customers, the commission shall consider: 112 (a) Testimony and evidence provided by customers and the 113 utility; 114 (b) Complaints regarding the alleged odor, noise, aerosol 115 drift, or lighting filed with the Department of Environmental 116 Protection, a county health department, or the respective local 117 governmental entity during the past 5 years; and 118 (c) Complaints regarding the alleged odor, noise, aerosol 119 drift, or lighting filed with the commission during the past 5 120 years. 121 (3)(a) If the commission determines that a utility: 122 1. Has failed to provide water service that meets the 123 secondary water quality standards of the department, the 124 respective water management district, or the local governmental 125 entity, regarding taste, odor, color, or corrosiveness; or 126 2. Has generated odor, noise, aerosol drift, or lighting in 127 providing wastewater service that adversely affects customers, 128 129 the utility shall create an estimate of the costs and benefits 130 of a plausible solution to each issue identified by the 131 commission. 132 (b) The utility shall meet with its customers within a time 133 prescribed by the commission to discuss the estimated costs and 134 benefits of and time necessary for implementation of a plausible 135 solution for each quality of service issue identified and the 136 utility shall report the results of such meetings to the 137 commission. 138 (c) The utility shall inform the commission if: 139 1. The customers and the utility agree on a solution for 140 each quality of service issue identified; or 141 2. The customers and utility prefer a different solution to 142 at least one of the quality of service issues identified. 143 (d) The commission may require the utility to implement a 144 solution that is in the best interest of the customers for each 145 quality of service issue. The commission may establish the 146 necessary benchmarks a utility must meet for each solution and 147 require the utility to report periodically until each solution 148 is completed. 149 (4) The commission shall adopt rules to assess and enforce 150 compliance with this section. The rules must prescribe penalties 151 for a utility’s failure to adequately resolve each quality of 152 service issue as required by the commission, which may include 153 fines as provided in s. 367.161, a reduction of return on equity 154 of up to 100 basis points, or cancellation of the certificate of 155 authority under s. 367.072. 156 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014. 157 158 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 159 And the title is amended as follows: 160 Delete everything before the enacting clause 161 and insert: 162 A bill to be entitled 163 An act relating to water and wastewater utilities; 164 creating s. 367.072, F.S.; providing legislative 165 intent; authorizing the Florida Public Service 166 Commission to suspend or revoke a certificate of 167 authorization upon receipt of a petition; providing 168 criteria for such petition; authorizing the commission 169 to adopt rules; creating s. 367.0812, F.S.; requiring 170 the commission to consider the quality of water or 171 wastewater service when fixing rates; providing 172 criteria that the commission must consider in making 173 its determination; requiring the utility to meet with 174 its customers to discuss the costs and benefits of 175 plausible solutions if the commission finds that the 176 utility has failed to meet certain water or wastewater 177 quality standards; requiring the commission to adopt 178 rules; providing an effective date.