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Highlights: PA PUC Public Session of April 21, 2016

Note:  Video from each public meeting is available on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's website.  To access the video stream for this public meeting, please visit http://www.puc.state.pa.us/about_puc/2013_pm_videos.aspx.  The public meeting calendar may be viewed at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/about_puc/public_meeting_calendar.aspx, and public meeting agendas and summaries may be viewed at www.puc.state.pa.us/about_puc/public_meeting_calendar/
public_meeting_audio_summaries.aspx
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          At the April 21, 2016 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 May 5, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.  The minutes of the Public Meeting of the March 17, 2016, were, by a vote of 5-0, approved as submitted.

MAIN AGENDA

OFFICE OF SPECIAL ASSISTANTS

  • PUC - INVESTIGATION & ENFORCEMENT VS UBER TECHNOLOGIES INC., GEGEN LLC, RAISER LLC AND RAISER-PA LLC, C-2014-2422723.  Complaint filed on 6/5/14, alleging that the Respondent violated the Public Utility Code by offering to broker transportation of persons for compensation without authority through its application software.  On 6/26/14, the Respondent filed an Answer denying that it was providing brokered transportation and requesting dismissal of the Complaint.  On 1/9/15, I&E filed an Amended Complaint which added additional named respondents and modified the requested civil penalty.  ALJs Long and Watson conducted a hearing on 5/6/15.  By Initial Decision issued on 11/17/15, the ALJs sustained the Amended Complaint and issued a total civil penalty of $49,924,800.  The Respondent filed Exceptions on 12/7/15.  I&E filed a Motion to Strike the Exceptions and Replies to the Exceptions on 12/17/15.  The Respondent filed an Answer to the Motion on 1/6/16.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order.  Joint Motion by Chairman Brown and Commissioner Coleman.  Statements by Commissioners Witmer and Commissioner Powelson. Vote 3-2 with Commissioners Witmer and Powelson dissenting. 
  • CATHERINE J. FROMPOVICH VS PECO ENERGY COMPANY, C-2015-2474602.  Formal Complaint filed on 3/24/15, complaining that PECO was threatening to shut off her service because she objected to the installation of a smart meter at her residence.  On 4/10/15, PECO filed an Answer and New Matter acknowledging the Complainant's request to opt out of a smart meter installation due to health concerns but averring that an opt out was not an option under the law.  On 4/10/15, PECO also filed a Preliminary Objection alleging the Complaint was legally insufficient.  In her Initial Decision issued 6/15/15, ALJ Barnes granted PECO's Preliminary Objection and dismissed the Complaint on the basis that there was no provision in law or Commission precedent allowing for an opt out.  On 6/26/15, the Complainant filed Exceptions.  On 7/13/15, PECO filed Replies to Exceptions.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order.  Statement by Commissioner Witmer.  Vote 4-1 with Commissioner Witmer dissenting.

BUREAU OF TECHNICAL UTILITY SERVICES

  • All matters approved as submitted.

CARRY-IN AGENDA

OFFICE OF COMPETITIVE MARKET OVERSIGHT

  • PROPOSED RULEMAKING RE CUSTOMER INFORMATION DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS, L‑2015-2465942.  The Commission finalizes its amended customer information disclosure regulations at 52 Pa. Code Sections 62.72, 62.75 and 62.81 for residential and small business natural gas supply customers.  Section 62.72 provides regulatory definitions while Section 62.75 discusses the disclosure statement and notice requirements of the NGS to the customer. The Commission also adds new regulations in Section 62.81 governing notice requirements for NGSs regarding the expiration or change in contract terms for residential and small business customers. The Commission finalizes these enhanced disclosure requirements as part of its broader Investigation of Pennsylvania's Retail Natural Gas Supply Market. See Docket No. I-2013-2381742.  RECOMMENDATION: That the Commission adopt the proposed Final Rulemaking Order.  Recusal Statement by Commissioner Witmer.  Vote 4-1 with Commissioner Witmer recusing herself.
  • COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, P-2015-2509336.  On 10/21/15, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed a petition requesting the Commission to open an investigation into the safety, adequacy, and reasonableness of the service provided by Verizon PA. On 11/10/15, Verizon filed an Answer. On 11/10/15, Full Service Network (FSN) filed an Answer. Notices of Intervention were filed by the OCA, the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, and the OSBA. On 12/1/15, Verizon filed a Reply to the FSN Answer. Letters in support of the CWA petition were filed by various interests including AARP PA, the Boilermakers Local 13, Put People First! PA, Pennsylvania Working Families, Members of the House of Representatives, and Nicholas Fuller. On 3/29/16, Verizon filed a Petition for Interlocutory Review and Answer to Material Question regarding the process and standards to apply in the proceeding. Briefs were filed by Verizon, CWA, I&E, and OCA on 4/8/16.  RECOMMENDATION:  That the Commission adopt the proposed Opinion and Order.  Statement by Chairman Brown.  Joint Statement by Vice Chairman Place and Commissioner Witmer.  Vote 3-2 with Vice Chairman Place and Commissioner Witmer dissenting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • This was Commissioner Witmer's last public meeting.

NEXT PUBLIC MEETING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2016 AT 10:00 A.M.

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