Bill Text: NJ A4763 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires electric public utility to identify communities within service territory where at least 40 percent of residential customers rely on private well water, develop service restoration plan for those communities, and provide watering stations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-10-08 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [A4763 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A4763-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4763

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 8, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RONALD S. DANCER

District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires electric public utility to identify communities within service territory where at least 40 percent of residential customers rely on private well water, develop service restoration plan for those communities, and provide watering stations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning electric public utility service to communities relying on private well water and supplementing Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Board" means the Board of Public Utilities or any successor agency.

     "Electric public utility" or "utility" means a public utility, as that term is defined in R.S.48:2-13, that provides electric distribution service in this State.

     "Major event" means an occurrence arising from conditions beyond the control of an electric public utility that affect the operation of a utility's distribution or transmission system, including, but not limited to, a thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, flood, heat wave, snow storm, ice storm, earthquake, terrorist attack, or any other condition that the board determines, which results in:

     a.     a sustained interruption of electric public utility service to at least 10 percent of the customers in the utility's service territory or 10 percent of a utility's customers within a municipality or county located in a utility's service territory; or

     b.    the declaration of a state of emergency or disaster by the State or by the federal government.

     "Priority service restoration" means prioritizing electric power service restoration to certain facilities essential to the public welfare, including private well water and septic communities

     "Private well water and septic community" or "community" means a municipality within the utility's service territory where at least 40 percent of electric public utility residential customers rely on private well water at the customer's residence.

     "Sustained interruption" means the cessation of electric public utility service to one or more customers lasting more than 48 consecutive hours after the conclusion of a major event where the utility service cessation was caused by that major event.

 

     2.    a.   The board shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations requiring an electric public utility to identify each private well water and septic community within the utility's service territory and to develop a priority service restoration plan for each private well water and septic community in the event of a sustained interruption following a major event. The rules and regulations shall

require a utility to request from every residential customer, on an annual basis, information as to whether the residential customer relies on a private well for the provision of water at the customer's residence and whether livestock needing water are located at that residence.

     b.    The rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall require an electric public utility to provide priority service restoration to a private well water and septic community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption in accordance with the community's needs and with the characteristics of the geographic area in which utility service shall be restored.

     c.     The rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall require an electric public utility to provide at least one watering station, which shall include, but not be limited to, bottled water, at least one water tanker truck, and any other water resource in accordance with the community's needs, including water for livestock, to a community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 60th day after the date of enactment, but the Board of Public Utilities may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the timely implementation of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to adopt rules and regulations requiring an electric public utility (utility) to identify each private well water and septic community (community) within the utility's service territory and to develop a priority service restoration plan for each community in the event of a sustained interruption following a major event. The rules and regulations are to require a utility to request from every residential customer, on an annual basis, information as to whether the residential customer relies on a private well for the provision of water at the customer's residence and whether livestock needing water are located at that residence.

     The bill provides that the rules and regulations adopted by the BPU are to require a utility to provide priority service restoration to a community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption in accordance with the community's needs and with the characteristics of the geographic area in which utility service is to be restored. The purpose of this requirement is for these communities to receive the same priority service restoration as other facilities essential to the public welfare.

     Further, the rules and regulations are to require a utility to provide at least one watering station, which is to include, but not be limited to, bottled water, at least one water tanker truck, and any other water resource in accordance with the community's needs, including water for livestock, to a community after a major event resulting in a sustained interruption.

     Water is an essential element necessary for the existence of all life. During sustained interruptions in electric public utility service in this State, far too many private well water and septic communities are denied this essential element because the electric pumps used to access water supplies are inoperable. Access to water, for both humans and livestock, and functioning toilets are fundamental health and welfare concerns for the residents of these communities and deserve special priority from utilities.

     The bill defines "private well water and septic community" to mean a municipality within the utility's service territory where at least 40 percent of electric public utility residential customers rely on private well water at the customer's residence.

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