|Senator Fontana and Representative Dan Deasy hosted a Job Fair last week in Beechview. More than 40 organizations participated, meeting with job seekers.
Final Implementation Order for PWSA
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved a Final Implementation Order, by a 5-0 vote, that addresses the Commission’s oversight of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA). As you may recall, the Legislature passed Act 65 of 2017, which places PWSA under the supervision of the PUC after the Authority has grappled with repeated service disruptions, decaying infrastructure, elevated levels of lead in the water, poor customer service, chronic billing errors, high debt and several rate increases.
Effective April 1, the Final Implementation Plan calls for the PUC to begin its oversight and taking consumer complaints, including compliance with the PUC’s regulations regarding terminations, disputes, and informal and formal complaints. As part of that process, the Commission will begin accepting complaints from PWSA customers – either as informal complaints submitted to the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services (1-800-692-7380 and online) or as formal complaints filed with the Commission’s Secretary’s Bureau. The Final Order also outlines procedures for handling appeals to the Exoneration Hearing Board that may be outstanding.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is also required to file an Official Prior Tariff detailing the rates and terms of service for water and wastewater. The tariff will remain in place as a temporary measure as the Commission’s normal ratemaking process plays out. It’s important to note that this will include the ability for parties to voice their concerns. The new tariff must be filed no later than July 2, 2018.
Lastly, the order requires PWSA to submit a long-term compliance plan by September 28 that will outline efforts to bring other regulatory issues that have not been addressed in the tariff filing into compliance with PUC regulations. These include addressing lead levels in the water supply and the replacement of lead service lines; identifying unmetered accounts and plans to meter all customers; conversion to the Uniform System of Accounts; a Self-Certification Form for Security Planning and Readiness; plans to fully comply with the billing, collection, complaint, and termination rules of Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code and Chapter 56 of the Commission’s regulations; and access to PWSA customer service management information system by the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is already tasked with overseeing more than 130 private, investor-owned water and wastewater systems. Additionally, the Philadelphia Gas Works is also under the PUC umbrella. With more than 300,000 households and businesses being served by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, I am hopeful that the PUC oversight will bring some much-needed stability to our struggling local authority and drastically improve operations.
Upcoming Shredding Events
I want to alert everyone about two upcoming shredding events. On Saturday, April 7, together with Representative Dan Deasy and Green Tree Borough, we are hosting a shredding event in the parking lot at Green Tree Park from 9 a.m. – noon. Then on Saturday, April 14, along with Rep. Deasy and Crafton and Ingram Borough officials, we are hosting a shredding event in the parking lot at Crafton Park from 9 a.m. – noon.
Documents at both events will be shredded on-site by a reputable and bonded company. Also, all papers must be loose, no binder clips or paper clips, and documents cannot be in binders.
With consumer fraud and identity theft continuing to be an issue, we are hosting these events to not only to raise awareness and promote prevention, but also to provide individuals with the opportunity to have unneeded, confidential documents destroyed free of charge. You may bring documents that contain personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers.
PennDOT and DEP Seek Volunteers for Statewide Spring Cleanup, Beautification Effort
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania that began March 1 and runs through May 31. Groups participating in PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year-round, are also encouraged to participate in the cleanup.
The cleanup is sponsored each year by PennDOT, DEP, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, and other partners.
Gloves, trash bags, and safety vests for the cleanup campaign will be provided by PennDOT, DEP, and the GLAD Products Company, a national sponsor.
In addition, during "Pick It Up, PA Days,” April 7–30, registered cleanup events have access to reduced or free disposal at participating landfills, through support from DEP and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association.
Through PennDOT's AAH program, volunteers collect litter on a 2-mile section of state highway at least two times a year. The program currently has over 4,900 participating groups, more than 85,920 volunteers, and 10,612 miles of adopted state-maintained roadways.
PennDOT has created a comprehensive webpage that includes all volunteer opportunities available, from the Great American Cleanup of Pa and Adopt-A-Highway to Safety Training, Litter Brigades and more. Visit www.penndot.gov and click on the “Roadside Beautification” tab then the “Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania” tab to learn more.
For their extensive partnership on the 2017 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, DEP and PennDOT were awarded the State Agency Partner Award by Keep America Beautiful.
Did You Know…
Did you know that during last year's Great American Cleanup of PA, 132,695 volunteers collected over 5.3 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania's roads, trails, and shorelines? Over 7,200 events were held, with every county participating.
Table Games Revenue Rises
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced last week that revenue from table games in Pennsylvania increased more than 11 percent in February compared with February 2017. Revenue from table games in February totaled more than $73.7 million, an 11.4 percent increase from last February’s table games revenue of $66.3 million. Tax revenue collected from table games play during February totaled more than $11.8 million.
Table games revenue combined with a 1.67 percent decrease in slot machine revenue during February, resulted in an overall gaming revenue increase for the month of 1.64 percent over February 2017.
The state’s gaming industry employs over 18,000 people and generates approximately $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue from both slot machines and table games. For more information on gaming in Pennsylvania and to read reports from the Gaming Control Board, please visit them online at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.
Walk for One Promise
The Pittsburgh Promise promotes high educational aspirations among urban youth, funds scholarships for post-secondary access, and fuels a prepared and diverse regional workforce. The Pittsburgh Promise depends on the generosity of our community to ensure educational opportunities for Pittsburgh's kids.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, you can help them provide scholarships to deserving Pittsburgh students by joining their 5K Walk for One Promise to raise awareness and essential scholarship funds. Visit www.pittsburghpromise.org/walk for more information and to sign up!
10th Annual Diabetes Day – TODAY!
Ohio Valley Hospital is hosting its 10th annual Diabetes Day today. The event runs from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the first floor of the hospital’s School of Nursing Building, located at 25 Heckel Road in Kennedy Township.
This free community event features the “ABC’s of Free Testing,” a diabetes prevention and lifestyle management panel, cooking demonstrations, expert lectures, free samples, raffles, vendor booths and much more. For more information or to register for the event please click here or visit https://ohiovalleyhospital.org/.
Benefit to Fight Addiction
Friends on a Mission for the Mission is sponsoring an event to raise funds to fight addiction. This Saturday, March 24, Pittsburgh’s premier Beatles tribute band, COME TOGETHER, will perform at the Georgetown Center with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and a buffet dinner being served at 7 p.m. The Georgetown Center is located at 536 East Bruceton Road in Pleasant Hills. The event also features a 50/50 raffle and cash bar.
To read more on the event or to purchase tickets, please click here. A ticket provides admission, buffet dinner, and the opportunity to support the great work of the Light of Life Rescue Mission, dedicated to the homeless and addicted. COME TOGETHER will entertain guests with everyone’s favorite Beatles’ hits. Gather family and friends for this event, share some laughs, and dance the night away while helping to fight addiction.
Today marks the first day of spring! The first day of spring, the vernal equinox, has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The term vernal is Latin for “spring” and equinox is Latin for “equal night.”
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol |
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
524 Pine Hollow Road
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
|Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library |
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212