In November 2012, Philadelphia voted to amend the Home Rule Charter to allow City Council to establish an independent body: Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board.
The Board was formed to replace the Water Department as the entity responsible for setting water, wastewater, and storm water rates. This Rate Ordinance became effective January 20, 2014.
The Board must:
- Use open and transparent processes and procedures for public comment on proposed rates and charges.
- Implement regulations for rate hearings and determination of rates and charges consistent with the Philadelphia Code.
- Follow existing Water Department regulations regarding rate setting until new regulations are adopted.
- Hold public hearings prior to fixing and regulating rates.
The Water Department must provide supporting documentation (including financial accounting and engineering data) to the Board with regard to:
- establishing revenue requirements necessary to meet the System’s immediate and long-term operating and capital needs,
- maintaining the utility’s financial stability (with reliance upon the Financial Stability Plan), and
- providing a fair allocation of costs among customer groups based upon cost of service principles.
The Rate Ordinance requires that when the Water Department has proposed changes in rates and charges, the Board must prepare a written report containing the information the Board used in reaching its decision to approve, modify, or reject the proposed rates and charges. The Board’s decision must be made no later than 120 days from the filing of notice of any such proposed changes. If the Board can’t act on the proposed rates and charges within that time frame, the Water Department may set emergency rates and charges until a final determination is made by the Board.
These documents include regulations and other resources external to individual Rate Proceeding Records but relevant to the Board’s operation and rate increase decisions.
|Philadelphia Water Department Rates and Charges||Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board||September 1, 2018|
|Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board Regulations||Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board||February 25, 2019|
|Procedures of the City of Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board||Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board||December 12, 2018|
|Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board Regulations||Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board||September 11, 2017|
|Legal Authority: Bill No. 140607-AA||Philadelphia City Council||June 19, 2014|
Note: Board Meeting notes and agendas can be found at the bottom of the Meetings & Hearings page.
The board consists of five members serving staggered terms. The members are appointed by the Mayor and continue to serve until a replacement is installed.
Sonny Popowsky has served on the Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board since its inception in 2015 and was named Chairperson in 2017. He served as the Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 2012. Mr. Popowsky currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, the Boards of Directors of the Energy Coordinating Agency, the Sustainable Energy Fund, and Regional Housing Legal Services, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Consumer Advisory Council. (Term expires July 1, 2023.)
Tony is a Principal at Shift Capital LLC, a social impact real estate firm based in north Philadelphia. Tony is responsible for leading Shift’s development and construction teams, guiding strategic initiatives, and furthering the firm’s efforts in economic and community development. Tony previously served as Vice President at Liberty Property Trust, where he created and managed development and leasing strategies within Liberty’s real estate holdings in the Greater Philadelphia region. Tony’s commercial real estate experience includes acquisitions, development, construction, and management of multiple property types including as office, warehouse, multifamily, and manufacturing space. Mr. Ewing is a licensed real estate salesperson in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. (Term expires July 1, 2022.)
Ms. Folasade (Sade) A. Olanipekun-Lewis, Chief Administrative Officer to the Philadelphia International Airport, has worked in many areas of Philadelphia government for over 20 years. Previously, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for City Council; Deputy Commerce Director for Finance and Administration; Chief Financial Officer for the School District; and also as City Treasurer, where her responsibilities included overseeing the issuance of debt and other financing instruments and managing the investment of cash reserves of the city totaling about $2 billion. (Term expires July 1, 2020.)
Rasheia R. Johnson, Managing Director at Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, is responsible for the development of broker-dealer business throughout the country, as well as investment banking deal origination. Ms. Johnson previously served as Treasurer to the City of Philadelphia from January 2016 – July 2019. As City Treasurer Ms. Johnson’s responsibilities included overseeing the cash management and investments of the City’s $3.0 billion portfolio and managing the City’s $8.9 billion debt portfolio. (Term expires July 1, 2024)
Ms. Pozefsky currently serves as the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of the American Board of Surgery. From 1986 through 2017 she served the City of Philadelphia in various capacities including: Water Department General Counsel; Airport General Counsel; City Solicitor’s Office, Chief Deputy of Regulatory Affairs; PGW General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer; and School District, Legal Department transformation consultant. (Term expires July 1, 2021.)