CONTACT: Susan Henry, Consumer Liaison; e-mail:
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky announced
today that his Office will ask the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
to reject the Initial Decision of an Administrative Law Judge that refused
to order Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC) to provide water
service to the people of Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County.
"We are extremely disappointed that the Judge did not adopt our position
that Pennsylvania American Water Company has an obligation to provide
desperately needed water service to the residents of Mount Pleasant Township
without requiring substantial up-front payments from individual customers,"
Popowsky said. "But this is only an Initial Decision. It is ultimately up to
the five members of the Public Utility Commission to decide the case."
Popowsky said that Exceptions to the Judge’s Initial Decision must be
filed with the PUC in Harrisburg by May 20. He said his Office will file
extensive exceptions setting forth the enormous need for public water
service in Mount Pleasant Township and the modest cost to PAWC of providing
that service. Other participants in the case may file Exceptions as well.
PAWC is a part of American Water Works Company, the largest water company in
the United States, which is in turn now owned by RWE, a German international
"We hope to convince the PUC that the record in this case -- particularly
the graphic testimony of dozens of Mount Pleasant residents regarding the
hardships resulting from a lack of public water service in terms of illness,
fires, poor sanitation, expense and inconvenience -- greatly outweighs the
arguments of PAWC that it is not required to provide service without
substantial up-front contributions from these customers," Popowsky said.
Additional information about the case can be obtained by calling the
Office of Consumer Advocate toll-free at 800-684-6560. A copy of the Initial
Decision is available on the PUC website at
http://www.puc.state.pa.us under docket number C-00015377.