(A) This rule shall govern notice to the public and the conduct of hearings where directed by the commission to be held in cases involving an application by a waterworks company and/or sewage disposal system company for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, an application to amend a certificate, an application to transfer a certificate, or an application for abandonment of a certificate.
(B) Following the filing of any application set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule, the commission shall review the application to determine its compliance with the requirements of this chapter. If the commission determines that the application is in compliance with the commission's rules, and otherwise appears to be complete, an entry shall be issued which accepts the application, and directs the manner in which public notice of the application is to be accomplished. If the commission determines that the application is not in compliance with the commission's rules, or is otherwise incomplete, an entry shall be issued which directs the manner in which the applicant shall file such information as is necessary to bring the application into compliance or to complete the application.
(C) Unless otherwise set forth by entry, the applicant, in applications set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule, shall fulfill all of the following notice requirements:
(1) If public notice is to be accomplished other than by publication of legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the application, the manner in which public notice of the application is to be accomplished shall be set forth in the entry accepting the application.
(2) If public notice is to be accomplished by newspaper publication:
(a) The applicant shall give notice by publication, once, in every county affected by the application. Within each affected county, publication must be made in a newspaper published, and of general circulation, within such county.
(b) Publication expense shall be borne by the applicant.
(c) Proof of publication of an appropriate notice shall be filed with the commission pursuant to the deadline established within the entry calling for publication.
(d) Unless otherwise directed by entry, the legal notice which the applicant must publish in applications covered by paragraph (A) of this rule, shall:
(i) State the fact that such application has been filed with the commission along with a brief description of the purpose of the application.
(ii) Set forth the rates proposed to be charged and collected, except in abandonment application cases in which rates are not being proposed, and shall describe the specific area to be served. The published description need not be stated in terms of metes and bounds; however, it shall be in sufficient detail to enable a member of the public to determine the boundary of the service area(s).
(iii) Contain the name and complete post office address of the applicant.
(iv) Contain a statement which sets forth the docket number which the commission has assigned to the application, as well as the commission's post office address, and which indicates that additional information concerning the application may be obtained by contacting the public utilities commission of Ohio.
(v) Provide for a period of time within which affected persons or entities may file with the commission, a written statement which both describes the nature of their interest in the application and requests that a hearing be held on the application. Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, this period of time shall include at least fourteen days from the last date upon which publication may be made pursuant to the entry calling for publication.
(e) If, within fourteen days from the last date on which publication may be made pursuant to the entry calling for publication, or such other period as may be established within the entry calling for publication, the commission receives from any affected person or entity a written request for a hearing on an application set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule, the commission may schedule and hold a public hearing on the application on a date and at a time and place to be established by the commission. The commission may proceed to decide the case without holding a hearing, on the basis of the information contained in the application and the affidavits and information submitted to the commission by the applicant. The commission may, upon its own motion, schedule and hold a public hearing on the application at any time during its pendency.
(3) Entries accepting applications, directing the manner in which notice shall be accomplished and/or scheduling hearings shall be served upon the applicant, any affected person or entity who has requested a hearing, and upon the board of county commissioners of any county and the chief executive authority of any municipal corporation served or proposed to be served by the application.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of rule 4901-1-08 of the Administrative Code, an officer or partner of the applicant shall attend any hearing held in a case involving an application set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule. Failure of an officer or partner to be present at the hearing is cause for dismissal of the application.
(D) In cases involving an application for abandonment of water service and/or sewage disposal system service, notice and the conduct of a hearing shall be as provided for in paragraph (C) of this rule, except that notice shall be by newspaper publication which shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in any county or municipal corporation which has granted a franchise to the applicant utility company.
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 10/25/2017 and 08/17/2022
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.48, 4933.25, 4905.21, 4905.20
Prior Effective Dates: 02/03/1977, 12/12/1991, 03/24/2003, 08/22/2008