CHAPTER 280

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 500

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 3 AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WATER UTILITIES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

Section 1. Amend § 6077, Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by striking the section in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

Ҥ 6077. Issuance of certificate; limitations.

(a) The Secretary shall issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity if the applicant therefor has submitted, together with the application, the following:

(1) evidence that all landowners of the proposed territory have received notification by certified mail of the filing of the application; and

(2) one of the following:

a. evidence that the water in the proposed service area does not meet the regulations governing drinking water standards of the Department of Health and Social Services for human consumption; or

b. evidence that the supply is insufficient to meet the projected demand.

(b) Alternatively, if a meritorious request for a public hearing is submitted by any person to the Secretary and a public hearing is held or, if no such request is submitted and no public hearing is held, the Secretary may issue or refuse to issue, a certificate of public convenience and necessity if the applicant therefore has submitted, together with the application the following:

(1) evidence that all landowners of the proposed territory have received notification by certified mail of the filing of the application; and

(2) one of the following:

a. a signed service agreement with the developer of a proposed subdivision or development, which subdivision or development has been duly approved by the respective county government; or

b. a petition requesting such service signed by a majority of the landowners of the proposed territory to be served; or

c. a duly certified copy of a resolution from the governing body of a county or municipality requesting the applicant to provide service to the proposed territory to be served.

(c) For applications submitted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, no certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be issued where a majority of the landowners of the proposed territory to be served object to the issuance thereof. Any landowner whose property, or any part thereof, is located within the proposed territory to be served shall be permitted to opt-out of inclusion in the territory prior to the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to a water utility applying to serve that territory.

(d) Following issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to a water utility, the Department shall not withhold a potable water well permit, or require an applicant for a potable water well permit in an area served by a water utility to utilize the services of the utility, unless:

(1) the Delaware Geological Survey or the Division of Public Health certifies that the groundwater supply is inadequate or unsuitable for the intended use for which the permit is being sought; or

(2) the utility demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Department that it can provide service of equal or better quality at lower cost; or

(3) the applicant is a resident of a municipality, county water district, or recorded development where public water is available.

(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d)(2) and (3) above, following the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to a water utility, the Department shall not withhold a potable water well permit from any person seeking to dig or extend a well on a farm, farmland or the lands of any existing mobile home community, or an addition, modification, or extension of that mobile home community, which now self supplies potable water under existing permits in an area served by a water utility, nor shall it require that the person utilize the services of the utility.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, following the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to a water utility, the Department shall not withhold a non-potable water well permit from any person seeking to dig or extend a non-potable water well in an area serviced by a water utility, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section.

(g) Following the issuance of a non-potable water well permit in an area for which a certificate has been issued pursuant to subsection (a) above, the Secretary shall send a copy of the permit with conditions to the water utility providing water to that area. All non-potable water well permits issued in such an area shall include the following conditions:

(1) Water taken from the well is not to be used for human consumption; and

(2) The well shall not, at anytime, be interconnected with any portion of any building's plumbing and/or any water utility's service connection; and

(3) Representatives of the Secretary and the water utility that serves the certificated area may inspect the well at any reasonable time to insure that there are no interconnections; and

(4) That the permit is subject to revocation upon any violation of its permit conditions; upon revocation, the well will be ordered to be abandoned by the Secretary.

(h) Penalties shall be administered pursuant to § 6005 and § 6013 of this title.

(i) For the purposes of this section, ‘landowners of the proposed territory to be served’ are persons who own property within the proposed territory to be served at the time that the application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity is submitted by the applicant to the Secretary for consideration.”

Approved April 11, 2000