Lawrence Introduces Legislation to Require Ratepayer Referendum Prior to Any Proposed Sale of Chester Water Authority

John Lawrence

HARRISBURG, PA – Legislation recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would require ratepayers to approve the sale of a public utility in the Commonwealth.

Introduced by Rep. John Lawrence (R-West Grove), the bill would directly impact any proposed sale of Chester Water Authority (CWA) by providing ratepayers the ability to approve or veto any proposal to sell the authority.

“This bill is about consumer protection and giving a voice to people most impacted by any proposed utility sale,” said Lawrence. “Chester Water Authority provides great water at a reasonable price to ratepayers across southern Chester and Delaware counties. My bill would require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to abide by the results of a customer referendum in any decision surrounding the sale of a public utility, including any proposed sale of CWA.”

READ:  Lawrence, CWA Chair Tell Lawmakers to Save Chester Water Authority

Rep. Lawrence has been a leading voice in Harrisburg on the effects of any proposed acquisition of Chester Water Authority. Earlier this year, Lawrence grilled Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a House hearing after DEP took a position against CWA in a Delaware County court filing.

More recently, Lawrence penned a letter to Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin blasting the Wolf administration for suggesting the City of Chester had ownership of CWA.

Other states, including neighboring New Jersey, require voter input prior to the sale of a publicly managed utility.

The proposal will be introduced shortly as House Bill 2597 and referred to committee. It has also been filed as amendment A06122 to House Bill 1718, which could be considered as soon as the House returns to session.

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