2020 New York Laws
PBS - Public Service
Article 4-B - Provisions Relating to Water
89-B - Safe and Adequate Service; Just and Reasonable Charges; Unjust Discrimination; Unreasonable Preference; Protection of Privacy.

Universal Citation: NY Pub Serv L § 89-B (2020)
§ 89-b. Safe and adequate service; just and reasonable charges; unjust
discrimination; unreasonable preference; protection of privacy. 1. Every
water-works   corporation   shall  furnish  and  provide  such  service,
instrumentalities and facilities as shall be safe and  adequate  and  in
all  respects  just  and reasonable. All charges made or demanded by any
such water-works corporation for water, or for  equipment  furnished  or
for  any service rendered or to be rendered shall be just and reasonable
and not more than allowed by law or by order of  the  commission.  Every
unjust  or  unreasonable  charge  made  or  demanded  for  water  or for
equipment furnished or for any such service, or in connection therewith,
or in excess of that allowed by law or by the order of the commission is
prohibited.
  2. No water-works corporation shall directly  or  indirectly,  by  any
special  rate,  rebate,  drawback  or  other  device  or method, charge,
demand, collect or receive from any person or corporation a  greater  or
less  compensation  for  water,  or  for  equipment  or  for any service
rendered or to  be  rendered  or  in  connection  therewith,  except  as
authorized  in  this  article,  than  it  charges,  demands, collects or
receives from any other person or  corporation  for  doing  a  like  and
contemporaneous   service   with  respect  thereto  under  the  same  or
substantially similar circumstances or conditions.
  3. No water-works  corporation  shall  make  or  grant  any  undue  or
unreasonable  preference  or  advantage  to  any  person, corporation or
locality, or to any particular description of  service  in  any  respect
whatsoever, or subject any particular person, corporation or locality or
any  particular  description  of  service  to  any undue or unreasonable
prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
  3-a. No water-works corporation shall discontinue  or  disconnect  the
supply of water for non-payment of water rents, rates or charges, unless
such  water-works  corporation  shall  have  first  given  fifteen days'
written notice of its intention so to do to the owner  of  the  premises
thereby affected, or in lieu thereof, to the person, firm or corporation
to whom or which the last preceding bill has been rendered and from whom
or  which the water-works corporation has received payment therefor, and
to the superintendent or other person  in  charge  of  the  building  or
premises  thereby  affected, if it can be readily ascertained that there
is such superintendent or other person in charge. Such notice  in  every
case   shall  be  served  either  personally  on  the  person,  firm  or
corporation to which it is  directed,  or  by  mailing  the  same  in  a
postpaid wrapper to the address of such person, firm or corporation.
  3-b.  (a)  No water-works corporation can effect the discontinuance of
residential service for nonpayment of bills rendered for  water  service
on Friday after twelve noon, Saturday, Sunday, public holiday, or day on
which  the  main  business  office  of  the  corporation is not open for
business.

(b) Discontinuance for nonpayment of bills rendered for water service of residential services can only take place between Monday and Thursday between the hours of eight a.m. and six p.m., and Fridays before twelve noon.

(c) The term public holiday refers to those holidays enumerated in the general construction law. 3-c. It shall be unlawful for any water-works corporation to discontinue the supply of water to any person or entity receiving public assistance, for nonpayment of bills rendered for service, if the payment for such service is to be paid directly by the office of temporary and disability assistance or the social services official in such locality. 4. Nothing in this chapter shall be taken to prohibit a water-works corporation from establishing a sliding scale for a fixed period for the automatic adjustment of charges for water, or any service rendered or to be rendered and the dividends to be paid to stockholders of such corporation, provided the sliding scale shall first have been filed with and approved by the commission; but nothing in this subdivision shall operate to prevent the commission after the expiration of such fixed period from fixing proper, just and reasonable rates and charges to be made for service as authorized in this article. 5. Nothing in this chapter shall be taken to prohibit a water-works corporation from establishing classifications of service based upon the quantity of water used, times when used, purpose for which used, duration of use, or upon any other reasonable consideration, and providing schedules of just and reasonable graduated rates applicable thereto. No such classification, schedule, rate or charge shall be lawful unless it shall be filed with and approved by the commission, and every such classification, rate or charge shall be subject to change, alteration and modification by the commission. 6. No water works corporation shall sell or offer for sale any list of names of its customers. However, upon request by a municipality, a water works corporation shall provide water usage data by property address to such municipality where: (a) such municipality is within the service territory of such water works corporation; (b) such data shall only be used for municipal purposes related to the financing of clean, storm or drinking water infrastructure projects and service; and (c) the provision of such data shall be pursuant to a written agreement between the water works corporation and the municipality which adequately provides for customer privacy safeguards and is approved by the commission. The water works corporation may provide for reimbursement of any nominal administrative costs which result from this provision of data in the written agreement. Property water usage data shall be used solely for the calculation of assessments or bills for municipal services for which water usage is a relevant indicator of the cost of such municipal services and such data information shall not be sold or shared with any other person or corporation. If a private vendor is used by the municipality in association with such municipal purposes, the restrictions related to municipalities on sale or sharing of water usage data shall apply to such private vendor. Upon request by a municipality, the commission may commence a proceeding to: (a) establish a written agreement between the municipality and a water works corporation; or (b) review any written agreement entered into between the municipality and a water works corporation, and make any modifications to such agreement as would be in the public interest. Any agency, as defined under section eighty-six of the public officers law, shall not disclose any personally identifiable information contained within such water usage data to the public. For purposes of this subdivision, "municipality" shall only include the cities of New Rochelle and Rye; the towns of Eastchester, Greenburgh, and Mount Pleasant; and the villages of Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Port Chester, Rye Brook, and Tuckahoe. 7. Every water-works corporation providing service to the residents of a county with a population of one million two hundred fifty thousand or more which is not wholly contained within a city shall meter service to its customers within two years of the effective date of this subdivision. * 8. No water-works corporation shall terminate or disconnect the supply of water to residential accounts for the non-payment of water rents, rates or charges for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared pursuant to executive order two hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19 state of emergency"). Water-works corporations shall have a duty to restore service, to the extent not already required under this chapter, to any residential customer within forty-eight hours if such service has been terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency. * NB Repealed March 31, 2021 * 9. For a period of one hundred eighty days after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or expires, no water-works corporation shall terminate or disconnect the service of a residential customer account because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears owed to the water-works corporation when such customer has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, as defined by the department. The water-works corporation shall provide such residential customer with the right to enter into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement without the requirement of a down payment, late fees, or penalties, as such is provided for in article two of this chapter. * NB Repealed March 31, 2021 * 10. Every water-works corporation shall provide notice to residential customers, in a writing to be included with a bill statement or, when appropriate, via electronic transmission, the provisions of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts to contact customers who have demonstrated a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a deferred payment agreement consistent with the provisions of this article. * NB Repealed March 31, 2021 * 11. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit a water-works corporation from recovering lost or deferred revenues after the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergency, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a water-works corporation from disconnecting service when it is necessary to protect the health and safety of customers and the public. * NB Repealed March 31, 2021

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