Powelson: Independent Regulatory Oversight of PWSA is a Win for Customers - Truth from the Tap

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Powelson: Independent Regulatory Oversight of PWSA is a Win for Customers

In a new editorial on TribLive.com titled “Scrutiny will benefit PWSA customers,” NAWC President and CEO Robert Powelson details how the “checks and balances of utility commission oversight” are benefiting Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) customers.

In Pennsylvania, and states across the country, independent oversight by state utility regulators ensures the ratemaking process is transparent, that sound investments are being made, and that customers have a chance to have their voices be heard. Similar regulatory oversight is generally not applied to government-run systems. However, under a Pennsylvania law passed in 2017, PWSA is now under similar oversight as the private water operators in the state, which Powelson points out “works to ensure safe, reliable and affordable service by removing politics from the rate-making process.”

Read an excerpt article below and the full article on TribLive.com.


Robert F. Powelson: Scrutiny will benefit PWSA customers

The realities of America’s growing water and wastewater infrastructure challenges are front and center in Pittsburgh. The Steel City’s vital infrastructure has long exceeded its life span.

Across the country, water utilities, in close collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, are proactively addressing some of their failing infrastructure challenges. This includes investment in new pipeline infrastructure, leak detection technologies and accelerated water quality treatments. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is no exception.

As a result, PWSA customers’ rates are increasing to cover the costs of the long overdue infrastructure improvements.

The public nature of the current process differs vastly from how PWSA conducted business and increased rates just a decade ago.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed, and the governor signed into law, Act 63 of 2017, which granted the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) oversight of PWSA to include customer service, operations performance, long-term infrastructure planning and rate-making. This action put PWSA on par with the state’s privately owned water and wastewater utilities such as Aqua Pennsylvania, PA American Water, Veolia and York Water.

Read the full article on TribLive.com.

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