Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5345

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING LEAD SERVICE LINE REPLACEMENT.

Vote Date:

3/20/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/8/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following Joint Favorable Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Energy & Technology Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill will allow water companies to lead service line replacement plans to PURA. This legislation will also allow PURA to authorize cost recovery for the replacement of the lines.

**Substitute Language (LCO #2769) PURA shall initiate a docket to study the replacement of lead service lines in the state. On or before November 1, 2018, the authority shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy containing its review and any recommendations.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Testimony of: John Betkoski, Vice Chairman, PURA

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel

(Testified together)

PURA and OCC do not oppose this bill. However, they believe that at this time it is appropriate for PURA to initiate a docket and report back to the Legislature on the specific need for a lead service line replacement program. They believe more information is needed to allow rate recovery, create specific ratemaking mechanisms or design new rate tariffs. This requires more thought and study so it can be developed in a manner that balances the interests of ratepayers and individual customers.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Elizabeth Gara, Executive Director

Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA)

According to CWWA, this bill provides a strong incentive for private water companies to develop a plan to assist customers in replacing lead service lines by ensuring that the water company can recover the cost of replacing lead service lines in its rates or other mechanism approved by PURA.

Testimony of: John J. Herlihy, VP Water Quality & Environmental Management

Aquarion Water Company

Aquarion Water Company supports this legislation. To permanently eliminate the health risk associated with lead from these service lines, it believes that the entire service line should be removed; replacing them with piping that does not contain lead. This bill will help ensure that customer owned lead bearing service lines get replaced, that exposure to lead from these lines is eliminated, and that water companies will be able to recover the costs of replacement. Water companies will prepare replacement plans that minimize the cost of replacement to customers.

Testimony of: Maureen Westbrook

Connecticut Water Company

The Connecticut Water Company supports Bill 5345. Connecticut Water has joined with other water professionals and a broad range of state and national organizations representing public health, housing, environmental and municipal interests participating on the National Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative. They have compiled technical information, outlined ways to initiate the process at the state or local level, and developed strategies to reach consensus and local support, identified funding options and examined potential barriers to success. The bill is permissive and anticipates that the specific ratemaking tools to fund the customer lead service line replacements will be determined based on company-specific plans and situations. The CT Water Company believes this will give PURA and the Office of Consumer Counsel the ability to review and approve the plans for a particular utility based on the customer benefits and the rate implications.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

There was no testimony offered in opposition of Bill 5345, LCO #1957.

Reported by: P. Silverman

3/23/18