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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. FRANCONIA TOWNSHIP (01/06/76)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 6, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
v.
FRANCONIA TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT. PHILADELPHIA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INTERVENING APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Public Utility Commission in case of In Re: Application of Philadelphia Electric Company for approval of the right to begin to offer, render, furnish or supply electric service to the public in portions of Franconia and Upper Hanover Townships, Montgomery County, Milford Township, Bucks County and Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County, Application Docket No. 98291.

COUNSEL

Philip R. Detwiler, with him Butera & Detwiler, for appellant.

R. Knickerbocker Smith, Jr., Assistant Counsel, with him Edward Munce, Assistant Counsel, and Peter W. Brown, Counsel, for appellee.

Donald Blanken, Assistant General Counsel, with him Edward G. Bauer, Jr., General Counsel, for intervening appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 538]

This is an appeal by Franconia Township from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission which granted a certificate of public convenience to the Philadelphia Electric Company. The certificate, which was granted pursuant to Section 202(a) of the Public Utility Law,*fn1 authorized the Company to begin to offer, render, furnish or supply electric service in certain additional territory, including part of Franconia.*fn2 We conclude

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 539]

    that there is no controversy between the parties concerning the public need for the proposed service in the additional territory, and, therefore, affirm.

Both in the proceedings below and in this appeal, Franconia has challenged the location of the transmission line proposed by the Company. Franconia has mistaken the nature of this case. This is not a transmission route alignment case*fn3 in which the Company is seeking PUC approval of its right to exercise its power of eminent domain pursuant to Section 322 of the Business Corporation Law.*fn4 This case does not involve approval by the Commission of a specific location for the Company's proposed transmission line. If Franconia wishes to challenge the location of the proposed transmission line, it must do so in a different proceeding.

The only question before the PUC in this case was whether the proposed service in the additional territory was "necessary or proper for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public."*fn5 Franconia admits that the proposed service in the additional territory is necessary for the service of the public and, thus, concedes the validity of the PUC's decision.

We therefore

Order

And Now, this 6th day of January, 1976, the order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, dated January 20, 1975, granting a certificate of public convenience to the Philadelphia Electric Company, is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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