South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Readshaw bill to place PWSA under PUC passes State House

 


House Bill 1490, introduced by state Reps. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, and Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, has unanimously passed the House.

The bill would establish Public Utility Commission oversight of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Under state law, the PUC does not have jurisdiction over municipal authorities.

“PWSA has been experiencing a number of very public issues over the past year or more,” Mr. Readshaw said. “News items in the past year have highlighted unsustainable debt levels, billing errors, leaks, unmetered accounts and, especially, lead and other water quality issues.

“This bill would offer Pittsburgh water customers a new, unbiased level of protection and oversight for local water quality.”

Failure to comply with state and federal standards would result in monetary fines.

While PUC oversight of a municipal authority is very uncommon, it is not without precedent. In 1999 the legislature passed a law that placed Philadelphia Gas Works under the PUC.

The now moves to the Senate for its further consideration and review.

 

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