15 September 2015
On Sept. 9 the State Corporation Commission (SCC) ruled against Aqua Virginia and other water companies, who had asked the SCC to establish rules under which they could seek a water and wastewater infrastructure service charge (WWISC). The service charge, a monthly fee in addition to customers’ normal water and sewer charges, would have directly funded infrastructure projects.
“The proposed rules need not, and should not, be implemented,” stated the SCC’s order, putting to rest one of two hot-button issues many Aqua Virginia customers have with their water and sewer company.
The other fight – Aqua Virginia’s pending request to raise water rates by 8 to 21 percent and sewer rates by 4 to 13 percent – is still up in the air. Ken Schrad, spokesperson for the SCC, said that the hearing examiner’s ruling is expected “any day.”
The SCC ruled against Aqua Virginia and its fellow petitioners because it found blanket rules unnecessary. The need for infrastructure investment, and the corresponding need for Aqua Virginia and other companies to recover that investment, can be addressed on a case-by-case basis that analyzes the specific circumstances involved, the order stated. In fact, the order continued, not having blanket rules improves the ability of those involved to be flexible.
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