HOUSE BILL 1581







                        52nd Legislature

                      1991 Regular Session



Passed by the House March 12, 1991

  Yeas 95   Nays 1




Speaker of the

       House of Representatives


Passed by the Senate April 18, 1991

  Yeas 43   Nays 3




President of the Senate












Governor of the State of Washington



I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 1581 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




                                      Chief Clerk











                        Secretary of State   

                       State of Washington  




                                  HOUSE BILL 1581



                             AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE


                     Passed Legislature - 1991 Regular Session



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Representatives Grant, Miller and Rasmussen; by request of Utilities & Transportation Commission.


Read first time February 4, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Energy & Utilities.Placing the burden of proof on utilities to show that certain operations are not subject to regulation.

     AN ACT Relating to placing the burden of proof on utilities to show that certain operations are not subject to regulation; amending RCW 80.04.015; and adding a new section to chapter 80.28 RCW.




     Sec. 1.  RCW 80.04.015 and 1986 c 11 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

     Whether or not any person or corporation is conducting business subject to regulation under this title, or has performed or is performing any act requiring registration or approval of the commission without securing such registration or approval, shall be a question of fact to be determined by the commission.  Whenever the commission believes that any person or corporation is engaged in any activity without first complying with the requirements of this title, it may institute a special proceeding requiring such person or corporation to appear before the commission at a location convenient for witnesses and the production of evidence and produce information, books, records, accounts, and other memoranda, and give testimony under oath as to the activities being conducted.  The commission may consider any and all facts that may indicate the true nature and extent of the operations or acts and may subpoena such witnesses and documents as it deems necessary.

     After investigation, the commission is authorized and directed to issue the necessary order or orders declaring the activities to be subject to, or not subject to, the provisions of this title.  In the event the activities are found to be subject to the provisions of this title, the commission shall issue such orders as may be necessary to require all parties involved in the activities to comply with this title, and with respect to services found to be reasonably available from alternative sources, to issue orders to cease and desist from providing jurisdictional services pending full compliance.

     In proceedings under this section, no person or corporation may be excused from testifying or from producing any information, book, document, paper, or account before the commission when ordered to do so, on the ground that the testimony or evidence, information, book, document, or account required may tend to incriminate him or her or subject him or her to penalty or forfeiture specified in this title; but no person or corporation may be prosecuted, punished, or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture specified in this title for or on account of any account, transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he or she shall under oath have testified or produced documentary evidence in proceedings under this section:  PROVIDED, That no person so testifying may be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him or her in such testimony: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the exemption from prosecution in this section extends only to violations of this title.

     Until July 1, 1994, in any proceeding instituted under this section to determine whether a person or corporation owning, controlling, operating, or managing a water system is subject to commission regulation, and where the person or corporation has failed or refused to provide sufficient information or documentation to enable the commission to make such a determination, the burden shall be on such person or corporation to prove that the person's or corporation's operations or acts are not subject to commission regulation.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 80.28 RCW to read as follows:

     The commission's jurisdiction over the rates, charges, practices, acts or services of any water company shall include any aspect of line extension, service installation, or service connection.  If the charges for such services are not set forth by specific amount in the company's tariff filed with the commission pursuant to RCW 80.28.050, the commission shall determine the fair, just, reasonable, and sufficient charge for such extension, installation, or connection.  In any such proceeding in which there is no specified tariffed rate, the burden shall be on the company to prove that its proposed charges are fair, just, reasonable, and sufficient.