Monterey Peninsula Water Mgmt. Dist. v. Pub. Utils. Comm’nAnnotate this Case
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, a public agency, undertook work to mitigate environmental damage caused by California-American Water Co. (Cal-Am), a public utility, and then assessed a fee on the utility’s customers for the work. The fee was charged as a line item on Cal-Am’s bill and was collected by the Cal-Am on behalf of the District. In the underlying proceedings, Cal-Am filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for authorization to collect the District user’s fee. Before the PUC responded, Cal-Am, the District, and the PUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates entered into a settlement agreement under which the parties agreed that the District’s requested user fee was appropriate. The PUC denied Cal-Am’s application and rejected the settlement agreement. The Supreme Court set aside the PUC decisions rejecting Cal-Am’s application for authorization to collect the District’s user fee, holding that the PUC did not have the power to regulate the District’s user fee.