SB 897 Modifies provisions pertaining to utilities and certain clean water requirements and fees
Sponsor: Lager
LR Number: 4938L.04C Fiscal Note: 4938-04N.ORG
Committee: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment
Last Action: 4/22/2010 - HCS Reported Do Pass H Utilities Committee Journal Page:
Title: HCS SB 897 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Varies
House Handler: Emery

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Current Bill Summary


HCS/SB 897 - This act modifies provisions pertaining to utilities.

Section 204.300 - Common Sewer District Board of Trustees

The act provides that if the county governing body does not appoint a trustee to fill a vacancy on the board of trustees for a common sewer district within 60 days, then the remaining trustees may fill the vacancy. Under current law, the board of trustees for a common sewer district located in Jackson and Cass counties consists of 8 members. This act increases the membership to 10 by adding 2 additional city mayors on the board.

This section is almost identical to the perfected SB 791 (2010) and similar to SB 874 (2010) and HB 1612 (2010).

Section 204.472 - Annexation and Sewer Service

Current law allows the City of Poplar Bluff and sewer districts in Butler County to develop agreements to provide sewer service to land annexed by the City. Current law also provides procedures to develop such agreements when the City and a sewer district cannot agree on terms. This act extends the authority to develop such agreements to apply to any city and sewer districts in any county of the third classification and also makes these entities subject to the procedures for when agreement cannot be reached by both parties.

This section is identical to the perfected SB 791 (2010),SB 850 (2010), and SCS/SB 333 (2009).

Section 204.571 - Sewer Subdistrict Advisory Board

Under current law, the advisory board for a common sewer subdistrict must elect a chairman, vice-chairman, and a representative to the common sewer district's advisory board. The act allows the same person to serve in more than one of these roles if the subdistrict's advisory board is less than 3 people. The act allows the board of trustees for the common sewer district to appoint advisory board members to the subdistrict's advisory board, if a political subdivision does not fulfill its duty to appoint such advisory board members within 60 days.

This section is identical to the perfected SB 791 (2010).

Section 250.233 - Determining Rates for Sewer Service

Current law requires water companies and public water supply districts to make water service data available to cities that provide sewer services so that the cities can better calculate rates for service. The act requires the water providers to also make this information available to sewer districts.

This section is identical to the perfected SB 791 (2010).

Section 386.210 - Public Service Commissioners

The act allows members of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to appear in proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission or any other federal agency with jurisdiction over a PSC-regulated utility or that could impact utility service in Missouri. The PSC may file or participate in appeals from these same federal commissions or agencies.

This section contains an emergency clause.

Section 386.715 - Office of Public Counsel

Before the start of each new fiscal year, the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) must inform the PSC of its estimated expenses for the succeeding year. The OPC must specify how much of its estimated expenses are directly attributable to its work with each type of PSC-regulated public utility (i.e., electric, gas, water, heating, telephone, telegraph, and sewer) as well as the amount of expenses that are not directly attributable to one specific type of utility. Costs for telephone companies may not exceed 10% of the total directly attributable costs. Costs not directly attributable to one specific type of utility must be proportionately attributed to each utility type based on each utility type's percentage of total gross intrastate operating revenues across all utilities.

The PSC must levy an assessment to each regulated public utility to cover its share of the OPC's costs. The total amount levied to all utilities must not exceed 200ths of 1% of the total gross intrastate operating revenues of all regulated utilities. The PSC must issue a statement of the assessment amount to each utility by July 1st of each year, which the utility may pay in full by July 15th or in 4 equal quarterly installments.

The payments are to be deposited in the Public Counsel Fund, created in the act, and may only be used to pay the expenses of the OPC. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be proportionately credited to the next year's assessments.

The act does not grant authority to the PSC to determine how the OPC estimates its expenses or how the OPC will spend the assessments collected from the utilities.

By March 31st of each year, each regulated utility must file a statement with the PSC of its gross intrastate operating revenues for the preceding calendar year.

This section is substantially similar to HB 2408 (2010).

Section 393.150 - Rate Cases

The act reduces the period of time, from 120 to 90 days, in which the PSC may suspend proposed new rates by a gas, electric, water, or sewer company while it holds a hearing to determine the appropriateness of the rates. The act also reduces the period of time, from 6 to 2 months, in which the PSC may extend the rate suspension time in order to complete the hearing.

The act prescribes dates by which rebuttal and surrebuttal testimony must be submitted to the PSC for a rate case. The PSC must issue its order no later than 20 days before the end of the suspension period or extended suspension period, and the order must go into effect within 10 days.

Section 393.320 - Acquisition of Water Utilities

This section establishes requirements for the sale of a small water utility to a large water utility, where a small water utility is a utility that provides water or sewer service to 8,000 or fewer customers and a large water utility is a regulated water company that provides water or sewer service to more than 8,000 customers. Sales of water systems require the large utility to acquire a new operating permit from the Department of Natural Resources, but in sales of sewer systems, the operating permit may transfer. The large utility must provide service to all of the customers of the utility being acquired. The sale must be accompanied by an appraisal prepared by 3 appraisers who shall be appointed as specified. The act specifies how the rate base should be determined for the small utility using options including the purchase price, appraised value, or the rate base in the utility's most recent rate case, if applicable.

This section is similar to HB 2196 (2010).

Sections 393.1000 and 393.1003 - ISRS for Water Corporations

Under current law, only water companies that provide service to customers in St. Louis County may establish a surcharge for infrastructure system replacements (ISRS). The act allows any water company, after August 28, 2011, to establish such ISRS rates. The act lowers the current ISRS revenue requirement from $1 million to $10,000, and adds energy efficiency projects to the types of projects for which an ISRS may be used.

This section is similar to HB 2310 (2010).

Section 644.036 - Development of List of Impaired Waters

Under current law, the public notification requirements for the Clean Water Commission's development of the list of impaired waters required by Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act expire on August 28, 2010. This act extends the expiration date to August 28, 2012.

This section is identical to HB 2109 (2010).

Section 644.054 - Water Pollution Control Permit Fees

Under current law, the authority expires on December 31, 2010 for the Clean Water Commission to charge fees for construction permits, operating permits, and operator's certifications related to water pollution control. This act extends the expiration date to December 31, 2012.

The act removes the provision that requires a joint committee to study the water pollution control fees and the state's implementation of the federal clean water program and report by December 31, 2008.

This section is identical to HB 2109 (2010).

Section 660.122 - Utilicare

Any attempt to pay, or actual payment of, an electric or gas utility bill shall not adversely affect the assistance that an otherwise eligible household may receive through Utilicare. The act removes the current requirement that households have had their service disconnected before being eligible for assistance.

Electric or gas companies shall allow customers who develop an arrearage during the Cold Weather Rule to pay one-third of the arrearage in each of the 3 months following the Cold Weather Rule period in order to retain service.

This section is identical to SB 705 (2010).

ERIKA JAQUES