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D.P.U. 17-GREC-05 - NOTICE OF FILING, PUBLIC HEARING, AND PROCEDURAL CONFERENCE

May 16, 2017

 

D.P.U. 17-GREC-05

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, for review and approval of the reconciliation of its 2016 Gas System Enhancement Plan and for review and approval of its Gas System Enhancement Reconciliation Adjustment Factor.

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On May 1, 2017, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts ("Columbia" or "Company") submitted to the Department of Public Utilities ("Department") a reconciliation of its 2016 gas system enhancement plan ("GSEP") to replace aging natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Based on Columbia’s reconciliation, the Company proposes to collect $706,105 from ratepayers as under-recoveries through the gas system enhancement reconciliation adjustment factor ("GSERAF") for the period from May 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017. The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 17-GREC-05.

Columbia states that approval of the GSERAF will result in an average monthly bill increase of $0.50, or 0.32 percent for the average residential heating customer using 132 therms per month during winter months, and an average monthly bill increase of $0.11, or 0.27 percent for the average residential heating customer using 29 therms per month during summer months.

The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ("Attorney General") filed a notice to intervene in this matter pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(a). Further, pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(b), the Attorney General filed a notice of intent to retain experts and consultants to assist her investigation of the Company’s filing, and has requested Department approval to spend up to $150,000 in this regard. Pursuant to G.L. c. 12, § 11E(b), the costs incurred by the Attorney General relative to her retention of experts and consultants may be recovered in the Company’s rates. Any person who desires to comment on the Attorney General’s notice of intent to retain experts and consultants in this matter may submit written comments to the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on May 25, 2017.

The Department will conduct a public hearing to receive comments on Columbia’s petition. The hearing will take place on June 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., at the Department’s offices, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston Massachusetts 02110. A procedural conference will take place immediately following the public hearing to establish a schedule for the evidentiary phase of this case. Any person who desires to comment may do so at the time and place noted above, or submit written comments to the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on June 1, 2017.

Any person who desires to participate in the evidentiary phase of this proceeding must file a written petition for leave to intervene with the Department not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on May 25, 2017. A petition for leave to intervene must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 C.M.R. § 1.03. Receipt by the Department, not mailing, constitutes filing and determines whether a petition has been timely filed. A petition filed late may be disallowed as untimely, unless good cause is shown for waiver under 220 C.M.R. § 1.01(4). To be allowed, a petition under 220 C.M.R. § 1.03(1) must satisfy the standing requirements of G.L. c. 30A, § 10. All responses to petitions to intervene must be filed by the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on the second business day after the petition to intervene was filed. An original and two (2) copies of all written comments or petitions to intervene must be filed with Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 not later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on the dates noted above. One copy of all written comments or petitions to intervene should also be sent to the Company’s attorney, Danielle C. Winter, Esq., Keegan Werlin LLP, 265 Franklin Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.

All documents should also be submitted to the Department in electronic format using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail attachment to dpu.efiling@state.ma.us and to Jeffrey Leupold, Hearing Officer, jeffrey.leupold@state.ma.us, or (2) on a CD-ROM. The text of the e-mail or CD-ROM must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding D.P.U. 17-GREC-05; (2) the name of the person or company submitting the filing; and (3) a brief descriptive title of the document. The electronic filing should also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing. All documents submitted in electronic format will be posted on the Department’s website.

Copies of the Company’s petition are on file at the Department’s offices, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 for public viewing during business hours, and on the Department’s website by looking up the docket by its number in the docket database at http://web1.env.state.ma.us/DPU/FileRoom/dockets/bynumber (enter "17-GREC-05"). To request materials in accessible formats (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), contact Theresa Kelly at Theresa.Kelly@state.ma.us or (617) 305-3642. A copy is also on file for public viewing at the Company’s office at 4 Technology Drive, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581. Any person desiring further information regarding Columbia’s petition should contact counsel for the Company, Danielle C. Winter, Esq., at 617-951-1400. Any person desiring further information regarding this notice should contact Jeffrey Leupold, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at 617-305-3500. D.P.U. 17-GREC-05 Page 3

Reasonable accommodations at public or evidentiary hearings for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need, including as much detail as you can. Also include a way the Department can contact you if we need more information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be able to be accommodated. Contact Theresa Kelly at Theresa.Kelly@state.ma.us or (617) 305-3642.