HOUSE BILL NO. 111
AN ACT TO AMEND SUBCHAPTER II, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 26, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ABANDONMENT OR DISCONTINUANCE BY PUBLIC UTILITIES OF PUBLIC SERVICE OBLIGATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Section 203, Subchapter II, Chapter I, Title 26 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection to be designated as subsection (c) and to read as follows:
"(c) No public utility shall abandon or discontinue, in whole or in part, any business, operations or services provided under a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or otherwise which are subject to jurisdiction of the Commission without first having received Commission approval for such abandonment or discontinuance. Applications for such approval shall be made to the Commission in writing, verified by oath or affirmation, and be In such form and contain such information as the Commission may from time to time require. The Commission shall approve any such application when it finds that the utility has met its burden of proving that the abandonment or discontinuance is reasonable, necessary and not unduly disruptive to the present or future public convenience and necessity. The Commission may make such investigation and hold such hearings in the matter as it deems necessary or appropriate, and may attach reasonable terms and conditions to the granting of such approval. If, within sixty days after the filing of such application, the Commission has not acted concerning the application, it shall be deemed to have been approved. The Commission may, within such sixty-day period, set the matter for hearing, in which event the Commission shall render a decision concerning said application within seven months from the date such application was filed or the application shall be deemed in fact and law to be approved, unless within said seven-month period the Commission for good cause shown shall enter an order extending the period for decision for a further reasonable time not to exceed one hundred twenty (120) days. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require formal application for approval of abandonment or discontinuance of service to any individual customer or customer class where the basis for such abandonment or discontinuance is nonpayment of bills or other violation of the utility's rules, regulations and tariffs. The Commission may seek injunctive relief in the Court of Chancery to prevent any abandonment In violation of this subsection and in such proceeding shall not be required to post security for any temporary or preliminary injunction."
Section 2. This Act is intended to confirm the Public Service Commission's authority over proposed abandonments as a part of the general jurisdiction conferred under 26 Del. C. §5201 and to provide a procedure for obtaining Commission approval.
Approved July 13, 1983.