NEW CITY, NY – County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef announced today that he has submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for “party status,” which would allow the county to participate in United Water New York’s petition for a rate increase.
The water company recently filed a request for a rate hike that would increase the typical annual water bill by $144. That rate increase is on top of a separate $4.96 a month surcharge the company is seeking to recoup money spent on a planned Hudson River water treatment plant.
“It is very important that the County of Rockland be involved in the PSC hearings and fully represent the residents of Rockland County who are customers of United Water New York,” said Vanderhoef. “Party status will allow us to submit expert testimony in upcoming hearings regarding the rate increase.”
In requesting party status, Vanderhoef argued that the county is responsible for the health, safety and well-being of County residents and is itself a United Water New York customer as the operator of a number of municipal facilities. In addition, the county regulates certain aspects of water supply treatment and water use.
Furthermore, Vanderhoef noted that a 20-year agreement between United Water New York and United Water New Jersey is due to expire in September and that he would be investigating their relationship to ensure that any new agreement is fairer and more equitable for Rockland residents. The agreement determines how the costs of operation and maintenance of the Lake DeForest reservoir are shared between United Water New York and United Water New Jersey.
United Water New York provides water to most homes and businesses in Rockland County.