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September 8, 2009
     
  State Regulatory Relations  
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State Regulatory Relations


NARUC Water Committee Gains New KY Commissioner

Commissioner Charles R. Borders

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear appointed Charles R. Borders as a member of the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) on July 15, 2009. His term expires June 30, 2013. Commissioner Borders has also joined the NARUC Water Committee.

Before joining the PSC, Borders served in the Kentucky Senate, representing the 18th District in northeast Kentucky since 1991. He most recently chaired the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and served on the committees on Education and Health and Welfare.

Prior to joining the PSC, Borders was executive director of King’s Daughters Health Foundation and director of administrative services for King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland. He also has been a real estate broker. From 1971 to 1993 he held various corporate finance positions for Ashland Inc.

Borders is a past member of the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education and of the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. He is a past president of the Russell Rotary Club and a member of Oak Grove Church of Christ.

Borders is a graduate of Morehead State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Master of Business Administration.

 

 

Missouri Appoints New Commissioner

Commissioner Robert S. Kenney

Commissioner Robert S. Kenney was appointed to the Missouri Public Service Commission on July 29, 2009, by Governor Jay Nixon.

Prior to his appointment to the PSC, Commissioner Kenney served as Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s first chief of staff.

As chief of staff, Kenney was instrumental in leading the office through the transition process. He was responsible for overall management of the Attorney General’s attorney and non-attorney employees in five offices throughout the state. Kenney was also responsible for managing and litigating cases involving, among other things, election law, petition initiatives and representation of statewide elected officials. Kenney was also tasked with monitoring and advocating on behalf of legislation affecting the Attorney General’s Office.

Before working for the Attorney General, Kenney was a shareholder at the St. Louis law firm Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus PC (now Polsinelli Shughart), where he practiced in the commercial and business litigation practice group and the product liability practice group. He litigated cases in state and federal courts in Missouri, Illinois and other courts throughout the country. Kenney chaired Polsinelli’s diversity committee and served on the firm's recruiting committee.

Prior to his time in private practice at Polsinelli, Kenney was an assistant attorney general in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for nearly three years, practicing in the Consumer Protection Division. In that division, Kenney worked to enforce state and federal consumer protection laws. Kenney also served the community by implementing community education and outreach efforts. Kenney also played an instrumental role in the initial implementation and enforcement of Missouri’s Telemarketing No-Call List Law.

Kenney is the immediate past president of the Mound City Bar Association. Kenney has also served as a member of the board of governors of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, serving as a presidential liaison. Kenney also served the Missouri Bar as vice-chair of the Twenty-Second Circuit Judicial Evaluation Committee.

Kenney serves on the Board of Trustees for Fontbonne University, the Board of Directors for The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater, and the Board of Directors for the Portfolio Gallery and Educational Center. Kenney is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Epsilon Lambda Chapter.

Kenney was recently selected as a member of the 2009-2010 Missouri Bar Leadership Academy. He was also recently selected to receive the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2009 Inclusive Leadership Award. Kenney was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s Class of 2009 40 Under 40. He was also recognized in the 2008 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, as a “Rising Star” in the Business Litigation practice area. Kenney was also selected to appear in the Fifth Edition of Who’s Who In Black St. Louis.

Commissioner Kenney earned his undergraduate degree in 1994 from Hampton University in Hampton, Va. He earned his law degree in 1998 from Saint Louis University School of Law. While in law school, Kenney was an articles editor for the Saint Louis University Public Law Review. He was also a member of the National Moot Court Team and the Moot Court Board. He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois.

 

 

NARUC Opens Registration for Annual Conference

Registration for the 121st NARUC Annual Conference is now open. The Conference will be held November 15-18, 2009, in Chicago.

For more information, including registration and hotel reservations, please click here.


Pennsylvania Endorses Increase in Infrastructure Charge

As reported in PUR’s Utility Regulatory News, the Pennsylvania Public Utility
Commission (PUC) has approved a request by Aqua Pennsylvania (Aqua), an investor-owned water utility company, to increase its distribution system improvement charge (DSIC) cap by 2.5 percent, from percent to 7.5 percent. When the cap is reached, the DSIC surcharge for an average residential customer would increase $1.28, from about $2.57 to $3.85 a month.

As explained by the PUC, the DSIC is an automatic adjustment charge that enables companies to recover certain infrastructure improvement costs between base rate cases through a quarterly surcharge on customers’ bills. The costs of the infrastructure improvements are not flowed through the DSIC until after the improvements are operational. The DSIC resets to zero when a company files a base rate case or if the utility is over earning. The commission said that the DSIC allows water companies to use a surcharge to fund more upgrades of aging infrastructure that would not otherwise be feasible with minimum financial impact on customers. Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to use the DSIC. The commission said that because of the DSIC, Pennsylvania water customers have experienced improved water quality, greater rate stability, improved fire protection and increased water pressure. Customers also experience fewer main breaks and service interruptions, the PUC emphasized.

It added that Aqua estimates that incrementally increasing capital improvements through the DSIC could support approximately 50 to 70 additional miles of main replacements annually. Pennsylvania Pub. Utility Commission et al. v. Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., R-2008-2079310 et al., July 23, 2009 (Pa.P.U.C.).

 

Court Dismisses Damages Claim Against Middlesex Water

The Superior Court of New Jersey recently affirmed the dismissal of a complaint brought against Middlesex Water Company on behalf of a 16-year-old passenger on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that had flipped on a gravel path on property owned by Middlesex. Alfano v. Middlesex Water Company, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2280. The Court held that Middlesex was entitled to immunity under a state statute that absolves landowners of responsibility for injuries that occur when others enter their property for “sport or recreational activities.”

 

California Relaxes ‘Gray Water’ Rules

Based on an executive finding of drought emergency, California’s Department of Health and Community Development (DHCD) has significantly relaxed existing “gray water” regulations. Under the new rules, residents will be allowed to create simple water-reuse systems without first obtaining a construction permit. The exemption applies to systems that collect water from a clothes washing machine or a single drain that connects to showers, bathtubs, bathroom sinks or other allowable sources. The DHCD projects that the average single family household could conserve between 40 percent and 50 percent of its daily water usage by capturing gray water and using it for irrigation purposes.