Senator Wilton Simpson, District 10 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2016
Rachel Perrin Rogers,
Simpson Files Consumer Protection Amendment for Water Quality & Service
In 2014, Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) sponsored the Consumer Water Protection Act (Senate Bill 272). Today, Senator Simpson filed an amendment to Senate Bill 324, by Senator John Legg. The Consumer Water Quality & Service Protection Amendment will be considered in the Senate Finance & Tax Committee on Monday.
“In 2013, my constituents came to me and asked me to help them with a serious situation that had been going on for over two decades,” said Senator Simpson. “The residents of the Summertree community have no other option for water services aside from one private company. They are forced to pay rates that are much higher than what other Pasco County residents pay, and they are still experiencing water quality issues.”
“The 2014 Water Protection Act did a great deal to put consumers first and created a requirement that private utilities provide better water at a fair price,” said Simpson. "For the first time in Florida, secondary water quality standards that directly relate to the taste, color and smell of water are in place and must be considered when a utility requests a rate increase. We also designed a process that allows 65% or more of the customers in a service area to petition the PSC if the quality of their water or water service is unsatisfactory."
“Unfortunately, in spite of this law, this community of elderly individuals are being ignored and their lives are still being negatively impacted," said Senator Simpson. "This has got to stop.”
This amendment: declares that the citizens of the State of Florida have a right to participate in the selection of their water service provider;
-creates a more streamlined process for the PSC to revoke the certificate of a utility that is refusing to comply with the law passed in 2014; and
-makes it clear that if 65% of the customers have water quality issues and choose to sign a petition and initiate the process through the PSC, the county in which they live will have the authority to purchase the investor owned utility at fair market value.