CHAPTER 465

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 635

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2

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 :

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

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

“(1) evidence that all landowners of the proposed territory have been notified by certified mail, or its equivalent, of the filing of the application, such evidence consisting of (i) a list provided by the United States Postal Service, or an alternate delivery service, of those to whom notice was sent and (ii) copies of materials returned to sender; and”.

Section 2. Amend § 6077, Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by striking §6077(b)(1) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(1) evidence that all landowners of the proposed territory have been notified by certified mail, or its equivalent, of the filing of the application, such evidence consisting of (i) a list provided by the United States Postal Service, or an alternate delivery service, of those to whom notice was sent and (ii) copies of all materials returned to sender; and”.

Section 3. Amend § 6077(c), Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by inserting therein, between the phrase “opt-out of inclusion in the territory” and the phrase “prior to the issuance of a certificate”, the phrase, “up to 30 calendar days”; by designating the existing language thereof as paragraph (c)(1); and by adding thereto the following:

“(2) Within 10 calendar days after the expiration of the opt-out period, the Department shall notify an applicant for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with specificity of any landowner who has requested to opt-out of inclusion within the territory that the applicant has proposed to serve. The Department must take final action on the application within 90 calendar days after the date it determines that the application is administratively complete.

(3) If, as submitted, an application identifies fewer than 300 parcels of real property to be included within the proposed territory to be served, then the Department shall have 21 calendar days from the date it first received the application to determine if the application is administratively complete and, if it determines that the application is not administratively complete, to identify for the applicant the deficiencies in the application and what actions must be taken in order for the Department to determine that the application is administratively complete.

(4) If, as submitted, the application identifies 300 or more parcels of real property to be included within the proposed territory to be served, then the Department shall have 60 calendar days from the date it first received the application to determine if the application is administratively complete and, if it determines that the application is not administratively complete, to identify for the applicant the deficiencies in the application and what actions must be taken or what materials must be submitted in order for the Department to determine that the application is administratively complete.

(5) The Department shall determine that an application is administratively complete when the applicant completes those actions that the Department has indicated must be taken in order for the Department to determine that the application is administratively complete.”

Section 4. Amend §6077, Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by striking §6077(i) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(i) For purposes of this section, ‘land owners of the proposed territory to be served’ are only those persons having fee ownership of the affected parcel of real property within the proposed territory to be served (as reflected by appropriate tax or land record documents) at the time that the application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity is submitted by the applicant to the Secretary for consideration, provided however, that with respect to condominium units, as defined in the Delaware Unit Property Act, Chapter 22, Title 25 of the Delaware Code, this phrase shall mean the governing body or authorized officers of any condominium association with authority to act on behalf of unit owners, unless the underlying real property on which such condominium units have been built has been leased, directly or indirectly, to unit owners and the underlying real property owner retains the power to bind the unit owners.”

Section 5. Amend §6077, Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by redesignating 6077(c) through (i) as 6077(d) through (j) and adding a new §6077 (c) to read in its entirety as follows:

“(c)(1) An applicant for a certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be deemed in compliance with the notification requirement set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(1) of this section with respect to condominium units, as defined in the Delaware Unit Property Act, Chapter 22, Title 25 of the Delaware Code, upon providing certification signed by an authorized officer of the condominium association that (i) the officer of the condominium association is properly authorized to sign the petition for water service, and (ii) all unit owners have been provided notice of the application. A copy of the notice provided to unit owners shall accompany the certification.

(2) The Secretary may establish alternative means of demonstrating compliance with the notification requirement set forth in subsections (a)(1) and (b)(1) of this section, including verification that notification has been delivered to the land owners of the proposed territory to be served, subject to a finding that the appropriate internet accessible technology creating a record that the notification has been sent and the status of its receipt is employed by the United States Postal Service, and after soliciting input on the use of such technology from water utilities.”

Section 6. Amend § 6077, Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new subsection as follows:

“(k) For the purposes of subsections (a)(1) and (b)(1) of this section, notification sent to the landowners of a proposed territory must include at least the following statement:

‘Pursuant to Title 7, § 6077 of the Delaware Code, an application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) will be submitted to the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on or about {enter date of intended submission}. Your property has been included within an area {enter name of your organization} intends to serve with public water and we are required to inform you of certain information. Pursuant to current law, you may opt-out of inclusion in this service area prior to the issuance of the CPCN and you may seek a public hearing on this matter. A request for an opt-out or a hearing must be submitted in writing and by a date that is satisfactory to the Department. The Department will publish the date by which and the address to which requests may be submitted. Questions regarding opt-outs and hearings may be directed to: {enter the name or title, and the address and telephone number of the Department’s contact person}.’”

Section 7. Sections 1 through 5 of this Act shall be applied retroactively to April 11, 2000. The remainder of this Act shall be applied prospectively upon and after the enactment of this Act into law.

Approved July 18, 2000