Following an emergency order against Winola Water Company for failing to serve its customers, attorneys from the parties involved met with the appointed judge at a pre-hearing conference on Monday morning (Jan. 7) at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission offices in Harrisburg.
The initial in-person hearings are scheduled for Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14, both at 10 a.m. Administrative Law Judge Joel H. Cheskis is presiding.
At these hearings, Cheskis will gather evidence, establish facts and eventually put together a recommendation that the PUC will consider in its final decision in resolving the matter, according to PUC spokesman Nils Frederiksen. The judge can also schedule further hearings or proceedings if necessary.
Winola Water Company provides water for about 10 year-round customers and 25 seasonal customers in the Lake Winola area of Overfield Township.
The commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement filed a petition for the emergency order Nov. 28, stating that WWC failed to act after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection deemed its water unsafe for consumption Oct. 5.
The BIE argued that WWC did not follow the DEP’s orders to provide customers with an alternative source of potable water.
The PUC granted the petition to ensure “safe, reasonable, reliable and adequate” service to WWC customers. A proceeding was initiated and PUC appointed Pennsylvania American Water Company as the receiver for WWC, effective Dec. 10.
In this role, PAWC is required to maintain the operation of WWC until the proceeding in front of the commission comes to a conclusion.