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TOWN DEVELOPMENT v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (03/13/80)

decided: March 13, 1980.

TOWN DEVELOPMENT, INC. AND PAUL KOSSMAN DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, PETITIONERS
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Petition of Town Development, Inc. and Paul Kossman Development Company v. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., No. I.D. 124, Folder 2-73.

COUNSEL

Thomas R. Solomich, of Rothman, Gordon, Foreman and Groudine, P.A., for petitioners.

Larry Gesoff, with him Michael H. Kline, Assistant Counsel, Shirley Rae Don, Deputy Chief Counsel and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, respondent.

Jan P. Paden, of Rhoads, Sinon & Hendershot, and, of counsel, T. E. Morgan, W. R. Barnes and T. S. Brown, Jr., for Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., respondents.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Blatt, Craig and MacPhail. Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Macphail

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 105]

Town Development, Inc. and Paul Kossman Development, Inc. (Petitioners) appeal from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) order that affirmed the initial decision of the Honorable Martin R. Fountain, Administrative Law Judge, directing Petitioners to pay to Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc. the sum of $39,910 as penalty for unauthorized gas overruns.

Petitioners own a thirteen building complex, which had been combined in 1970 to form two multiple accounts, for which Columbia provided gas service. Bills for both accounts were always mailed to Town Development Company, 875 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15220.

In 1972, because of severe shortages of natural gas, the PUC ordered gas utilities subject to its jurisdiction, which includes Columbia, to submit detailed procedures for curtailment of service.*fn1

In 1975, Columbia filed proposed tariff supplements revising its curtailment schedules to broaden the curtailment base, a result of which was to include Petitioners in the curtailment plan for the first time. The tariff supplement proposed a penalty of $10 per MCF*fn2 for excessive consumption.

The tariff supplements were sent to the PUC on August 8, 1975 and copies were mailed with a cover letter of explanation, dated August 11, 1975, to all customers subject to curtailment, including Petitioners. The PUC approved the tariff supplement and

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 106]

Petitioners became subject to 40% curtailment commencing ...


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