On August 24, 2009, the Commission entered Order 03 - "Initial Order Approving and Adopting Settlement Subject to Conditions". If this Initial Order becomes final, the Settlement Agreement entered into between the City of Enumclaw and the Commission Staff which resolves all issues in the complaint will be approved and adopted, subject to conditions. Approval of the Settlement Agreement is conditioned on the parties filing quarterly written progress reports with the Commission on achieving compliance with all of the Settlement's conditions and remediation within 24 months.
On September 16, 2009, the Commission issued its Notice of Finality.
BACKGROUND: On February 10, 2009, the commission has issued a complaint against the City of Enumclaw alleging serious safety violations in the operations of the city's natural gas system.
Commission staff requests that the commission find that the City of Enumclaw has failed to comply with the statutes and rules of the Commission. Staff requests that the Commission assess monetary penalties and/or other sanctions against Enumclaw if the alleged violations of state law or Commission rules are proven. The total violations, before considering continuing violations, is 651 (as described in paragraphs 93 and 94 of the complaint). Pursuant to the manner of calculating penalties under RCW 81.88.040 and WAC 480-93-223, the maximum penalty that could be assessed under RCW 81.88.040 and WAC 480-93-223 based on the 651 violations is over $11,000,000.
Staff further requests that the Commission order Enumclaw, under the authority of RCW 80.28.130, to undertake any and all necessary specific measures to ensure as quickly as possible that its gas system is in a safe and operable condition and in full compliance with Commission laws and rules.
A prehearing conference was held on March 11, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. During the prehearing conference the parties agreed on an expedited procedural schedule that includes evidentiary hearings beginning July 22, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. in Olympia, and a public comment hearing on July 20, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Enumclaw.
On May 4, 2009, the City of Enumclaw notified the commission by letter that the parties have reached a full settlement, in principle, of all issues in this matter. Accordingly, the commission suspends the remainder of the procedural schedule and establishes June 29, 2009, as the deadline for filing the settlement and supporting documentation.
On July 10, 2009, the commission issued a notice cancelling the public comment hearing in Enumclaw that was to be held on July 20, 2009 and notifying parties that an evidentiary hearing was to be held in its place on July 20, 2009 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the commission's headquarters. Docket PG-080097, see "Documents" link below for more information).
For more information, please contact Patricia Johnson at (360) 664-1266 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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