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PUC temporarily prohibits utility terminations

Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille has signed an emergency order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations.

Under the unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing a termination moratorium for utility services under the PUC’s jurisdiction is consistent with the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency and the requirements of the Public Utility Code, she said. Under the order, terminations would be permitted in the event of a safety emergency.

“I believe that issuance of an emergency order is appropriate under the unique circumstances,” said Dutrieuille. “It is beyond argument that the provision of public utility service is necessary for the safety of the public. This is especially the case under the current challenges that resulted in the Proclamation of a pandemic emergency.”

Pursuant to the Commission’s regulations governing emergency relief, an emergency order will be issued only when there exists a clear and present danger to life or property or when the relief requested is uncontested and action is required prior to the next scheduled public meeting.

A Proclamation of Disaster Emergency takes effect for a period of up to 90 days and can be renewed by the Governor for a longer period of time if necessary.

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