D.P.U. 19-GSEP-05 - Notice of Filing, Public Hearing, and Procedural Conference

NOTICE OF FILING, PUBLIC HEARING, AND PROCEDURAL CONFERENCE

D.P.U. 19-GSEP-05 - November 12, 2019

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts for Approval of its 2020 Gas System Enhancement Plan, pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, for rates effective May 1, 2020.

On October 31, 2019, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Bay State” or “Company”) submitted to the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) its 2020 gas system enhancement plan (“GSEP”) to replace aging natural gas pipeline infrastructure.  The Company seeks approval to collect $35,854,405 through the gas system enhancement adjustment factor (“GSEAF”) to recover the cost to replace eligible leak prone infrastructure through the end of calendar year 2020.  The Company states that because of the non emergency stop work moratorium instituted by the Department on October 4, 2019, Bay State’s pace of replacement in 2019 was atypical.  As such, the Company proposes to utilize a different estimated forecasted spend for 2019 consistent with anticipated experience and, thus, is seeking a waiver of its tariff to reflect the expected 2019 GSEP capital spend and mitigate the potential for large future adjustments.  The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 19-GSEP-05.
According to the Company, its proposed 2020 GSEP is consistent with the requirements of G.L. c. 164, § 145, which allows gas distribution companies to accelerate the replacement of eligible infrastructure in order to improve public safety or infrastructure reliability and to reduce or potentially reduce lost and unaccounted for natural gas.  The Company states that approval of the proposed GSEAFs will result in a monthly bill increase of $0.36 or 0.19 percent for the average residential heating customer using 132 therms per month during winter months, and a monthly bill increase of $0.08 or 0.17 percent for the average residential heating customer using 29 therms per month during summer months.  Pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, on May 1, 2021, the Company will submit to the Department the amount recovered through the GSEAF for reconciliation with actual 2020 calendar year GSEP costs.  The Company proposes that the following rates for each customer class take effect on May 1, 2020:

Residential$0.0837 per therm
Low Annual Use Commercial and Industrial ("C&I")$0.0863 per therm
Medium Annual Use C&I$0.0538 per therm
High Annual Use C&I$0.0453 per therm
Extra High Annual Use C&I$0.0362 per therm
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 in 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 Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

The Department will conduct a public hearing to receive comments on Liberty’s petition.  The hearing will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 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.  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 Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

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 Wednesday, November 27, 2019.  A petition for leave to intervene must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 CMR 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 CMR 1.01(4).  To be allowed, a petition under 220 CMR 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 one (1) copy 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, 99 High Street, Suite 2900, 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@mass.gov and to Carol Pieper, Hearing Officer, carol.pieper@mass.gov or (2) on a USB or CD ROM.  The text of the e mail or CD ROM must specify:  (1) the docket number of the proceeding D.P.U. 19-GSEP-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:  https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom (enter “19-GSEP-05”).

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 at https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom.  A copy is also on file for public viewing at the office of the Company’s attorney, Danielle C. Winter, Esq., Keegan Werlin LLP, 99 High Street, Suite 2900, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110.  To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), contact the Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov or 617-305-3500.  Any person desiring further information regarding Liberty’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 Carol Pieper, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at 617-305-3500.

Reasonable accommodations at public or evidentiary hearings for people with disabilities are available on 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 the Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov or 617-305-3500.

D.P.U. 19-135 - Notice of Filing and Public Hearing

NOTICE OF FILING AND PUBLIC HEARING

D.P.U. 19-135 - November 14, 2019

Petition of Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts for review and approval of its five year forecast and supply plan for the period November 1, 2019, through October 31, 2024.

On October 30, 2019, Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Company”) filed a petition with the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) for approval of the Company’s Long-Range Forecast and Supply Plan (“Plan”) for the five-year forecast period from November 1, 2019 through October 31, 2024.  Pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 69I, the Department must ensure a necessary energy supply for the Commonwealth at the lowest possible cost.  Accordingly, the Department will review the Company’s Plan to ensure that the forecast accurately projects the gas sendout requirements of the utility’s market area.  The Department has docketed this matter as D.P.U. 19‑135.

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 in 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 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2019.

The Department will conduct a public hearing to receive comments on the Company’s petition on Monday, December 9, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., at the Department’s offices, One South Station, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110.  The Department will conduct a procedural conference immediately following the public hearing.  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 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019.

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 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2019.  A petition for leave to intervene must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 CMR 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 CMR 1.01(4).  To be allowed, a petition under 220 CMR 1.03(1) must satisfy the standing requirements of G.L. c. 30A, § 10.  All responses to petitions to intervene must be filed by 5:00 p.m. on the second business day after the petition to intervene was filed. 

An original 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 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 attorneys, Cheryl M. Kimball and Steve Frias, Keegan Werlin LLP, 99 High Street, 29th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110 and Kenneth W. Christman, NiSource Corporate Services Company, 121 Champion Way, Suite 100, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, 15317.

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@mass.gov and to the Hearing Officer, sarah.smegal@mass.gov or (2) on a CD-ROM or USB.  The text of the e‑mail, CD-ROM, or USB must specify:  (1) the docket number of the proceeding, D.P.U. 19‑135; (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:  https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DPU/Fileroom/dockets/bynumber (enter “19‑135”).

Copies of the Company’s petition and accompanying exhibits and the Attorney General’s notice of intent to retain experts and consultants 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.  To request materials in accessible formats (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), contact the Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov or  617‑305‑3500.  Any person desiring further information regarding the Company’s petition should contact counsel for the Company, Cheryl M. Kimball or Steve Frias at 617‑941‑1400 or Kenneth W. Christman at 724-416-6315.  Any person desiring further information regarding this notice should contact Sarah Smegal, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at 617‑305‑3500.

Reasonable accommodations at public or evidentiary hearings for people with disabilities are available on 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 the Department’s ADA coordinator at DPUADACoordinator@mass.gov or or 617‑305‑3500.


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