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Water, Sewer & Storm Water Rate Board

About


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:

  1. establishing revenue requirements necessary to meet the System’s immediate and long-term operating and capital needs,
  2. maintaining the utility’s financial stability (with reliance upon the Financial Stability Plan), and
  3. 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.


Documents

These documents include regulations and other resources external to individual Rate Proceeding Records but relevant to the Board’s operation and rate increase decisions.

Current Rates and Charges
Title Author Date
Philadelphia Water Department Rates and Charges Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board September 1, 2022

Regulations & Relevant Legal Authority
Title Author Date
Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board Regulations Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board October 13, 2021
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

Reports from the Water Department
Title Author Date
September Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department September 21, 2021
October Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department October 15, 2021
November Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department November 16, 2021
December Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department December 16, 2021
January Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department January 14, 2022
February Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department February 17, 2022
March Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department March 18, 2022
April Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department April 20, 2022
May Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department May 16, 2022
June Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department June 21, 2022
July Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department August 15, 2022
August Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department September 21, 2022
September Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department October 18, 2022
October Report on Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) Water Department November 22, 2022

View Archived Documents

Note: Board Meeting notes and agendas can be found at the bottom of the Meetings & Hearings page.


Board Members

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
Chairperson

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 Ewing
Vice Chairperson
More +
Abby Pozefsky
Secretary

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, 2026.)

McCullough Williams III
Member
More +
Debra McCarty
Member

Ms. McCarty began her career working for a consulting engineering firm in Lancaster, PA. In 1982 she was hired by the Philadelphia Water Department as an entry-level engineer. Through the years she held progressively responsible positions and gained valuable experience. In 2004 she was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Operations. In 2016, her career culminated with her appointment to Water Commissioner. She served in that capacity until retiring in 2019. Ms. McCarty currently serves on the Boards of the Mantua Powelton Alliance and the Powelton Village Civic Association. (Term expires July 1, 2024)


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