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KEYSTONE WATER COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (09/25/86)

decided: September 25, 1986.

KEYSTONE WATER COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, in case of Prospero and Elvira Casciano v. Keystone Water Company, No. 844200.

COUNSEL

Michael D. Klein, for petitioner.

Richard A. Cohn, Assistant Counsel, with him, Louise A. Knight, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Stephen G. Baratta, for intervenors, Prospero and Elvira Casciano.

Judges Barry and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 645]

Prospero and Elvira Casciano have been customers of the Keystone Water Company (Keystone) for more than twenty-five years. Because the street where their home is located (Maple Street) does not have a water main, they have been getting their water through a

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 646]

    private one-inch service line which runs from Keystone's eight-inch main, located on the street parallel to Maple (Roseto Street), to the Casciano home through the private property of their neighbor. In May of 1984, the portion of this private line which is located under the neighbor's property developed a severe leak. Exercising his right under a terminable lease, the neighbor refused the Cascianos permission to enter his property in order to repair the pipe.

At this point the Cascianos proposed to run at their own expense a new one inch private line along the public road from Roseto Street to their home. Without crossing any private property the line would run approximately 320 feet and its estimated cost would be $6,818.00. Keystone rejected this proposal because it violated 52 Pa. Code § 65.17(b), which requires that an extension main must be at least six inches in diameter. Keystone also maintained that under its Tariff Rule No. 17 the Cascianos were required to bear the cost of all the extension with the exception of the first thirty-five feet (approximately $10,339.00). On March 7, 1985, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued a decision finding § 65.17(b) and Tariff Rule No. 17 inapplicable to the Cascianos and approving their original proposal to install a new one-inch service line. Keystone appealed to the PUC which modified the ALJ's decision by ordering the construction of a new six-inch main extension along the proposed route with the costs to be equitably shared between the Cascianos and Keystone. It is this second part of the PUC order which is the subject of the appeal presently before us.

In reviewing a PUC order this Court must determine whether the findings, order, or determination are supported by substantial evidence, an error of law was committed, or constitutional rights were violated. Public Utility Commission v. Blanchette, 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 329,

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 647345]

A.2d 787 (1975). In this appeal we must determine whether the PUC erred in ordering Keystone to pay a portion of the costs involved in extending service to the Cascianos. More specifically, the order provides that the Cascianos pay the same amount it would have cost to install a one-inch service line ...


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