N E W S   F R O M   T H E

                               O F F I C E   O F   C O N S U M E R   A D V O C A T E


                        555 Walnut Street 5th Floor, Forum Place, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

                   Telephone: (717) 783-5048; Fax: (717) 783-7152; Toll-Free (800)684-6560




CONTACT:  Susan Henry, Consumer Liaison   shenry@paoca.org



HARRISBURG – Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky today urged residents of Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County to testify at public  hearings to be held on September 9, 2002, regarding the need for public water service in the Hickory area.  The hearings will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, September 9, at the Mount Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Company, 106 Main Street, in Hickory. 

Popowsky said that many Hickory residents have been attempting to get the Pennsylvania-American Water Company ("PAWC") to extend public water service to their area.  A formal complaint seeking public water service was filed with the Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) by a Hickory resident in May 2001.  The Office of Consumer Advocate (“OCA”) has intervened to assist Hickory residents in seeking safe and adequate public water service from PAWC.  The OCA has been working with residents and Mount Pleasant Township officials to obtain relief either through settlement negotiations or through litigation.  Popowsky said that efforts to reach a voluntary settlement of the case with PAWC have proven to be unsuccessful.  Therefore, it is necessary to go forward with formal public hearings before the PUC.

"This hearing is the opportunity for residents of the Hickory area to come forward and explain why they need public water service," Popowsky said.   "This hearing is critical to the community’s efforts to convince the PUC to rule in favor of the Hickory resident’s complaint."

Interested persons may testify on September 9 regarding their present water supply and the need for PAWC to extend public water service to their areas.  Anyone who wants information about the hearing can call the Office of Consumer Advocate toll-free at (800)684-6560.