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MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION ERIE v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (10/29/79)

decided: October 29, 1979.

MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION OF ERIE, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT; THE CITY OF ERIE, INTERVENOR



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Manufacturers' Association of Erie v. City of Erie -- Bureau of Water, Complaint Docket No. 20518.

COUNSEL

Timothy F. Nicholson, for petitioner.

Edward Munce, Assistant Counsel, with him Steven A. McClaren, Deputy Chief Counsel and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Marilyn C. Fisher, Assistant City Solicitor, for intervenor.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, DiSalle and Craig. Judges Wilkinson, Jr. and MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 33]

On June 26, 1974, the City of Erie-Bureau of Water (Erie) filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) Tariff Water-Pa. P.U.C. No. 3, to become effective September 1, 1974, proposing changes in its rates which are uniformly applicable to water service provided inside and outside the corporate limits of the City of Erie.

On August 16, 1974, the Manufacturers' Association of Erie (Association) filed a formal complaint against this proposed rate increase. The Association alleged that the proposed changes would increase water rates "for all consumers by 25%, except for consumers of bulk water over 500,000 cubic feet per quarter which has been increased 32.7%" and thus the proposed increases were discriminatory and illegal. The Commission permitted the proposed rates to go into effect on September 1, 1974.

Following the filing of an amended complaint and two days of hearing, the Commission adopted an order dismissing the complaint filed by the Association. The order was entered on July 26, 1978 and this appeal followed. We affirm.

Although the scope-of-review provisions of Section 1107 of the Public Utility Law*fn1 were deleted by Section 20 of the Act of October 7, 1976, P.L. 1057, we have held that our scope of review remained the same as it was under Section 1107 and case law decided thereunder. Pennsylvania Gas & Water Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 33 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 143, 381 A.2d 996 (1977). Our review is by this standard limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights have been violated, an error of

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 34]

    law has been committed, or whether the findings, determinations, or order of the Commission is supported by substantial evidence.

A reading of the record discloses that the Association is not contending that the overall revenues allowed by the Commission order are unreasonable or excessive. The Association's amended complaint specifically challenges only the 32.7-percent increase for usage of more than 500,000 cubic feet of water per quarter, ...


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