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Water company reports to PSC should continue, advocate says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia American Water should have to keep filing quarterly reports with the state Public Service Commission because of this month's chemical leak that contaminated water for about 300,000 West Virginians, the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division said in a motion filed Wednesday.

A 2011 investigation required the water company to file the quarterly reports until the end of 2013.

"Clearly under these circumstances we believe it must continue," said Consumer Advocate Division Director Jackie Roberts.

The reports were originally required as part of a 2011 case where the Utility Workers Union of American Local 537 filed a grievance with the PSC, alleging that the water company's proposed layoffs would compromise its ability to provide safe water to its customers.

According to the latest report, filed on Dec. 30, 2013, the water company had a total of 278 employees and 11 vacant positions, for a total of 289 potential employees.

"This compares with a total headcount of 298 for the same time period in 2012 and represents a reduction of 20 employees. The Commission-approved, minimum headcount is 289 employees," PSC records show.

The latest report also said West Virginia American Water was failing to meet two mandates from the PSC: one to do with replacing meters, and one with valve operations.


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