Feinberg said he did not want his objections to block the general rate-increase agreement reached between the parties. "But we want to intervene in the sewer case to oppose the recommendation that [Fayette County sewer costs] get shifted to water customers."
If approved, that proposed shift of sewer costs, Feinberg warned, could be used to facilitate similar shifts in the future.
Rod P. Nevirauskas, director of rates and regulations for West Virginia American Water, said the average customer would pay less than $1 a year for the Fayette County sewer system work. Industrial customers would pay a total of about $12,000 a year, he said.
"West Virginia Steel would pay a small part of that," Nevirauskas said.
The Utility Workers Union of America, a union that represents West Virginia American workers, also is filing an appeal to Tuesday's agreement.
PSC Chairman Michael Albert said the UWUA has until July 27 to file its legal briefs.
Gregory Lanham, president of the UWUA's Huntington district, who testified before the PSC on Monday, complained that West Virginia American Water dropped the number of its employees from 316 to 260 in recent years.
Lanham and other union members testified employees have become backed up on their work and that the company is not assigning them efficiently to jobs that need to be done.
During his testimony on Tuesday, Nevirauskas said the company has "not done an analysis of the cost of the union's objections and requests."
Scott Strauss, a lawyer representing the UWUA, stressed that the union's recommendations for staffing and work practices were not addressed in the joint stipulation released on Tuesday.
West Virginia American Water has about 171,000 paying customers in 19 counties, including: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Wayne and Webster counties.
In all, the utility provides water to about 581,000 West Virginians -- about one-third of the Mountain State's population.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.