Are municipal pension costs eating your budget alive?  Are streets, bridges, water and wastewater systems crying out for capital investment?  Are public safety costs pushing your budget to the brink?  If so, now may be the time to explore unlocking the value of your municipal assets.

Over the past five years, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has enacted several laws that have changed the landscape of municipal water and wastewater assets.  These changes make the sale of water or wastewater assets to a public utility more attractive.  These changes may also result in an increased sale price if your municipality decides to sell.
Continue Reading Broken Budget? The Fix May be a Sale of Assets

On May 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (“EQB”) greenlighted a proposal that would substantially increase fees for public water suppliers regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”).  In addition to seeking the fee hike, the proposal would amend other regulations under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”), with some changes being even more stringent than federal standards.  The proposal now will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin followed by a public comment period of at least 30 days.

Stakeholders should carefully review the proposal and consider submitting comments, including all community water systems, noncommunity water systems, and bottled, vended, retail, and bulk water suppliers.  Those affected may include municipalities with water supply systems and businesses that supply water to the public or their own employees.

Continue Reading Public Water Suppliers Face Proposed Fee Increase and More-Stringent Standards

McNees attorney Steve Matzura recently covered for the McNees Energy and Environmental User Blog the proposal by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) of a new rule that would expand the scope of its current authority over projects that withdraw and use water in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. Per Steve’s analysis:

The proposal would

A recent decision by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC” or “Commission”) confirms that Pennsylvania public utilities with combined sewer systems (i.e., systems that collect both sewage and stormwater) may incorporate stormwater charges in their service charges.  While some public utilities have already been incorporating stormwater collection charges in their sewage rates, not all

The Borough of New Cumberland recently signed an agreement to sell its sewer system to Pennsylvania American Water.

The deal is reportedly for $23 million.  Per The Patriot News:

The sale will eliminate $16 million in debt the borough has. Pa. American Water also agreed to invest $2 million in wastewater and other

DEP is in the process of finalizing changes to individual and general permits for municipal storm sewer systems  that would result in stringent and costly requirements on municipalities throughout the Commonwealth. I recently co-authored an article for publication in The Legal Intelligencer on these changes, and how municipalities can address them.

DEP’s proposed changes modify

Large privately held, publicly regulated utility companies with a focus on rapid growth and expansion throughout the Commonwealth have a new target – municipally owned water and wastewater systems.  Pennsylvania legislation over the last few years has provided considerable financial and regulatory incentives for this unprecedented growth. These companies are no longer waiting for municipalities