Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in cases of In Re: Petition of Montefiore Hospital Association of Western Pennsylvania for exception to curtailment by Equitable Gas Company implementing provisions of the Commission's Chapter 69 End-use curtailment regulations, Nos. E-77124006 and E-78124026.
Marcus Aaron, II, with him Roderick A. Palmore, Berkman, Ruslander, Pohl, Lieber & Engel, for petitioner.
George H. Buchanan, Assistant Counsel, with him Shirley Rae Don, Deputy Chief Counsel, and George M. Kashi, Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Susan J. Garland, with her John J. Mullally, for intervenor.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Blatt, Craig, MacPhail and Williams, Jr. Judge Rogers did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.
[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 280]
Petitioner (Montefiore) is a non-profit, university-affiliated teaching hospital providing medical services in the Pittsburgh area. Two of Montefiore's three boilers have dual fired capability. Montefiore currently has an 8,000 gallon on-site fuel oil storage capacity.
By order of August 19, 1975 the respondent Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) instituted a rule-making proceeding to establish a statewide gas curtailment program. Notice of such proposal was made on September 6, 1975 at 5 Pa. B. 2325 (1975). Hearings providing an opportunity for gas utilities and customers to comment on the proposed rules were held in December 1975 and January 1976. On July 7, 1976 the Commission adopted regulations
[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 281]
entitled "Mandatory State-Wide End-Use Natural Gas Curtailment Scheme."*fn1 See 52 Pa. Code §§ 69.21-69.27; 6 Pa. B. 2513 (1976).
Pursuant to the Commission's order of July 7, 1976, Equitable Gas Company (Equitable) informed Montefiore by letter dated August 23, 1976 that on or before July 7, 1977 Equitable would file a tariff supplement specifying its criteria for customer gas use curtailment. On March 31, 1977 Equitable issued its Supplement 93 to Tariff Gas -- Pa. P.U.C. No. 18, containing rules and regulations concerning customer volumetric limitations and curtailment priorities.
On March 30, 1977 Equitable informed Montefiore that the hospital had been classified by Equitable as 1% Priority One and ...