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PSC Cuts Red Tape – Ends Redundant Reporting Requirement

PSC Cuts Red Tape – Ends Redundant Reporting Requirement

Water utilities will no longer have to copy PSC on boil-water advisories

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2017) – Acting to end a duplicative reporting requirement, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is telling water utilities they are no longer required to send copies of “boil water” advisories to the PSC.

The PSC instead will be informed of boil water advisories via a daily report that it receives from the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW), which has primary responsibility for enforcing drinking water safety rules through its responsibility to enforce the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Under those rules, water utilities must issue boil water advisories to their customers after water main breaks or other events that potentially could introduce dangerous microbes into water systems. Until now, copies of those notices have had to go both to DOW and the PSC.

In an order issued today, the PSC noted that boil water advisories and other drinking water safety information provided to DOW by water utilities is readily available to the PSC. That information is reviewed when the PSC inspects water utilities or evaluates the adequacy of the service they provide.

Providing the information separately to the PSC is not necessary, the PSC said.

“The filing of a copy of the public notification with the Commission is duplicative of information required to be filed with DOW by the water utility and creates an undue burden,” the PSC said in today’s order. The order grants a permanent deviation from the PSC regulation that requires utilities to file copies of the advisories with the Commission.

PSC Chairman Michael Schmitt said that PSC, like other state agencies, has been reviewing its regulations in keeping with Gov. Matt Bevin’s initiative to reduce needless red tape.

“This is a perfect example of a redundant and unneeded regulatory requirement,” Schmitt said. “That is why the PSC chose to issue an immediate and permanent waiver and, thus, contribute to the governor’s efforts to cut red tape.”

The PSC has received hundreds of copies of such notices every month, mostly by e-mail, but also by fax. The task of managing those notices required extensive PSC staff time that can be saved by relying instead on the summaries from DOW, Schmitt said.

“This change eliminates an unnecessary task for both the water utilities and the PSC staff,” Schmitt said.

Today’s order is available on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov. The case number is 2017-00335.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky.