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February 15, 2011

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State Regulatory Relations

NARUC’s Committee on Water Gains New Members

Pat Lyons

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Tony Clark recently appointed New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Chairman Pat Lyons to the NARUC Committee on Water. Lyons is a third-generation resident of New Mexico, and the owner and operator of Lyons Angus Ranch. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Public Regulation Commission, Lyons is an active managing rancher and farmer in New Mexico, with a continuous cow and calf operation.

From 2003 to 2010, Lyons was New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands, where he was responsible for revenue generation through the management of more than 13 million acres of land that was held in trust for 22 beneficiaries. After taking the helm of the New Mexico State Land Office, Lyons more than doubled the amount of revenue generated and distributed to beneficiaries of public lands, while maintaining a balanced budget for his entire tenure.

Lyons was a New Mexico State Senator from 1992 to 2002, representing six counties in the northeastern quarter of the state. In 1978 and 1979, Lyons worked in the Department of Commerce, Agriculture Bureau.


NARUC Holds Successful Winter Meetings

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners held its Winter Committee Meetings February 13-16 at the Renaissance Washington hotel in Washington, D.C. National Association of Water Companies members were well represented at the Committee on Water meetings. Nicholas DeBenedictis, chairman and CEO of Aqua America, Inc., Grey Wyatt, vice president and general manager of United Water Idaho, and Paul Foran, vice president of regulatory programs for American Water participated in a panel, “Reconciling Water Constraints and Reduced Consumption with Financial Viability,” which was moderated by Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson. NAWC President Eric Thornburg provided a report on the 2010 Staff Water Policy Forum; NAWC Executive Director Michael Deane provided an update on the association; and United Water's Vice President of Regulatory Relations Walton Hill Sr. presented on “Recent Customer Experience -- A New Way to Engage Customers”.

The Committee on Water also considered a resolution “supporting EPA’s WaterSense 'Fix-a-Leak Week' in March 2011.'" The draft resolution can be found here. Presentations from the meetings will be available shortly here.