2021 New York Laws
PBS - Public Service
Article 4-B - Provisions Relating to Water
89-L - Municipal Water Systems.

Universal Citation: NY Pub Serv L § 89-L (2021)

§ 89-l. Municipal water systems. 1. For the purposes of this section, and for the purposes of any jurisdiction conferred by it upon the public service commission, a municipality is one which owns, maintains or operates, or proposes to own, maintain or operate, a water system, or which sells, furnishes or distributes, or proposes to sell, furnish or distribute, water for domestic, commercial or public uses, whether provided by its own system or the system of a water-works corporation or another municipality. As so limited, the term "municipality" for the purposes of this section, means a city, town, village or public district; and a "public district," as here used, is a district or other territorial division, whether incorporated or not, whose affairs are managed by any officer or officers, person or persons, elected by voters or taxpayers or appointed by a public officer or officers, and includes, without excluding others, a water district, water supply district and a fire district. The other provisions of this chapter shall not apply to such a municipality, nor to its said business of owning, maintaining or operating a water system or of selling, furnishing or distributing water, except such provisions as are applied by this section by express reference. The jurisdiction of the public service commission, with respect to such a municipality or its said business, is that, and only that, provided for in this section.

2. Each such municipality shall file with the public service commission a copy of the annual report of its division, bureau or department of water.

* 3. No municipality shall terminate or discontinue service to, or place, sell or enforce any lien on the real property of, a residential customer, a non-residential customer whose account serves residential premises, or a small business with twenty-five or fewer employees that is not a (a) publicly held company, or a subsidiary thereof, (b) seasonal, short-term, or temporary customer, (c) high usage customer as defined by the commission, or (d) customer that the utility can demonstrate has the resources to pay the bill, provided that the utility notifies the small business customer of its reasons and of the customer's right to contest this determination through the commission's complaint procedures, for the nonpayment of bills, taxes, or fees, and no bills, taxes, or fees charged to such customers shall otherwise become a lien on real property, 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") or at any time when a customer is in compliance with the terms of a deferred payment agreement entered into pursuant to subdivision four of this section. Every municipality shall have a duty to restore service to any residential customer, non-residential customer whose account serves residential premises, or small business customer within forty-eight hours of the effective date of this subdivision if such service has been terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 4. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no municipality shall terminate or discontinue the service of, or place, sell or enforce any lien on the real property of, a residential customer, a non-residential customer whose account serves residential premises or small business customer because of bill arrears, taxes, or fees owed to the municipality when such customer has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, as defined by the department. The municipality shall provide a residential customer, a non-residential customer whose account serves residential premises, or small business service customer that has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency 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. The duration of a deferred payment agreement entered into or restructured pursuant to this subdivision shall be determined as such is provided for in article two of this chapter and shall not be limited to the period described in the first sentence of this subdivision. A deferred payment agreement entered into or restructured pursuant to this subdivision shall remain subject to the provisions of article two of this chapter until the termination of the agreement as such is provided in article two of this chapter.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 4-a. No municipality shall terminate or discontinue service to, or place, sell or enforce any lien on the real property of any residential customer, non-residential customer which serves residential premises, or a small business customer for the nonpayment of bill arrears, taxes, or fees after either the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, unless at least thirty days previously it sent to that customer a notice of its intention to do so together with a notice of rights under this section in the form set forth in subdivision five of this section

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 5. Every municipality shall provide notice, in the same frequency that the customer receives a regular bill, to residential customers, non-residential customers whose accounts serve residential premises, and small business 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 section and article two of this chapter.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 5-a. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, for the purposes of subdivisions three, four, five and six of this section, a "municipality" shall also include a public water authority established pursuant to article five of the public authorities law. Every municipality shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of subdivisions three, four, four-a, five, five-a and six of this section pursuant to sections twenty-four, twenty-five and twenty-six of this chapter.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022

* 6. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit a municipality from recovering lost or deferred revenues after the lifting or expiry of the COVID-19 state of emergency, provided that such means are not inconsistent with the provisions of this article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a municipality from disconnecting service when it is necessary to protect the health and safety of customers and the public.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022


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