This Week in the Missouri PSC: Oct. 3, 2018

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Public Service Commission made short work of this week’s agenda meeting, which lasted less than 15 minutes in total, just minutes before President Donald Trump’s first testing of the Presidential Alert system.

The first three orders of the day dealt with the commission’s revisions, rescissions, and modifications of PSC rules.

The first order dealt with rules regarding incentives for the acquisition of nonviable utilities.

“Unfortunately, there are small water or sewer systems that are insolvent or in violation of certain safety standards, so I would think these rules would provide an incentive for more stable utilities,” Chairman Ryan Silvey said while explaining that their revisions to proposed rules must be filed with JCAR by Oct. 5, and then with the Secretary of State by Nov. 5.

Commissioner Daniel Hall gave his support, saying that it was the culmination of four years’ work.

It passed with a unanimous vote.

The commission also signed off on proposed rule changes regarding an Environment Improvement Contingency Fund, as well as changes to the commission’s Fuel Adjustment Clause rules.

The commission also approved a motion filed by Tracfone Wireless, Inc., requesting permission to offer Lifeline services through additional brands beyond that of their brand name, specifically to use the brand Walmart Family Mobile. The commission signed off with the provision that TracFone gives them 30 days notice prior to using an additional name.

The final order of the day dealt with an application by Spire Missouri to change its infrastructure system replacement surcharges (ISRS). The commission had approved the tariffs filed by Spire in late September, setting an effective date of October 8, 2018.

Spire asked the commission to reconsider the effective date, hoping for Oct. 5 as the chosen date.

The commission, however, noted that it is “not bound by its past decisions, so the fact that past ISRS tariffs may have been approved by an order with an effective date of less than ten days is not dispositive.” They also stated in their decision that the ISRS statute does not require that a compliance tariff is allowed to go in effect by a certain date.

In the end, the commission ruled that Spire had not shown enough good cause to shorten the effective date, and voted to deny the motion.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.