Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Transportation Regulatory Policy, No. M-820319, dated November 22, 1982.
Christian V. Graf, with him David H. Radcliff, Graf, Knupp & Andrews, P.C., for petitioners, Central Storage & Transfer Co. of Harrisburg, W.C. McQuaide, Inc., and Samuel J. Lansberry, Inc.
James W. Patterson, with him Edward L. Ciemniecki, Rubin, Quinn & Moss, for petitioners, A. Duie Pyle, Inc. et al.
Thomas M. Mulroy, Pillar and Mulroy, P.C., for petitioners, John Brown et al.
William J. LaVelle, with him John A. Vuono, Vuono, LaVelle & Gray, for petitioners, Brocious Trucking, Inc. et al. and Parks Moving & Storage, Inc. et al.
Alan Kahn, Abrahams & Loewenstein, for petitioners, Bob Young Trucking, Inc. et al.
Terrance J. Fitzpatrick, Assistant Counsel, with him James W. Patterson, Assistant Counsel, Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) has moved to quash or dismiss seven consolidated appeals from the Commission's order to modify the substantive standards for adjudication of motor carrier applications. In support of its motion, the Commission contends that the Commission's order is not an "adjudication" under the Administrative Agency Law,*fn1 and that the petitioners, all motor carriers operating in Pennsylvania, have failed to show that they are "aggrieved persons" with standing to appeal. Before addressing the merits of the Commission's motion, we will set forth the background of this controversy.
At a public meeting held on July 16, 1982, the Commission proposed to modify its policy concerning the standards to be used to adjudicate applications by motor common carriers for operating authority.*fn2 Under then-existing standards, an applicant was required to establish (1) a public need for the proposed service; (2) the inadequacy of the existing service; and (3) its own technical, financial and legal fitness to undertake the proposed service.*fn3 The Commission proposed to alter the standards by eliminating the applicant's burden of showing the inadequacy of the existing service. Under the proposed standard, once an applicant had demonstrated public need or demand for the proposed service and its technical, financial and legal fitness, anyone opposing the granting of an application would assume the burden of showing that
the entry of a new carrier would endanger the operation of an existing carrier to the extent that granting the application would be contrary to public interest. According to Commission documents, this proposed modification reflected the Commission's judgment that the existing standards were inappropriate with respect to motor carriers in that the carriers were not natural monopolies like those utilities for which the existing standards were primarily designed. Furthermore, the Commission expressed concern that the existing standards were too protectionist, anti-competitive, and economically wasteful as applied to motor carriers. Finally, the ...