Waterford Twp. v. Pa. PUC

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that the Public Utility Commission lacked the authority to prohibit the fees that a township imposed. Armstrong Telecommunications applied to the Waterford Township for road occupancy permits for fifteen right-of-way (ROW) locations. The Township issued Armstrong the permits with the condition that Armstrong paid permitting fees. Armstrong filed a Petition for Declaratory Order, asking the Commission to declare that, as a public utility providing certificated services under the Commission’s jurisdiction, Armstrong need not pay the permitting fees. The Commission agreed and issued the Order. The Township appealed, and the Commonwealth Court vacated the Order. The Court held that because it discerned “neither regulatory purpose nor effect in the Township’s permitting fees, they are not preempted by the Code. And pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Business Corporation Law of 1988 and The Second Class Township Code, the Township may impose reasonable permitting fees for access onto its ROWs, subject to any challenge to their reasonableness.”

Search entire site by keyword...

Search for Summaries by Hashtag...

Past Opinion Summaries