Citations Affected: IC 8-1-2.
Synopsis: IURC enforcement authority. Allows the utility regulatory
commission (IURC) to impose the following penalties if a utility
violates state utility law or fails to comply with an IURC order: (1) A
civil penalty of not more than $25,000 per violation. (2) A cease and
desist order. (3) An order for corrective action. (4) Revocation or
modification of certain certificates and permits. Authorizes the attorney
general to bring an action to enforce any of these penalties. Provides for
the deposit of the civil penalties in the commission public utility fund
account. For violations of telecommunications slamming and cramming
laws, allows the IURC to impose only those civil penalties allowed
under current law. Authorizes the IURC to direct a utility to provide
service within 24 hours if the IURC determines that the service is
necessary to prevent injury or to alleviate an emergency. Repeals a
superseded statute concerning the IURC's enforcement powers.
Effective: July 1, 2002.
December 7, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Commerce and Consumer
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
utilities and transportation.
IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE
AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY
1, 2002]: Sec. 115.1. (a) As used in this section, "order" refers to an
order, a decision, a decree, a rule, a direction, a demand, or a
requirement of the commission or a division of the commission.
(b) As used in this section, "utility" refers to a public utility over which the commission has jurisdiction.
(c) If after notice and hearing the commission finds that a utility has:
(1) violated a provision of this title over which the commission has jurisdiction; or
(2) failed to comply with any part of an order;
the commission may act as provided in subsection (d).
(d) Except as provided in subsection (h), the commission may issue an order that does any of the following if the commission makes a finding under subsection (c):
(1) Impose a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five
thousand dollars ($25,000) for each violation or
(2) Issue an order that the utility cease and desist from the violation or noncompliance.
(3) Issue an order mandating corrective action to alleviate the violation or noncompliance.
(4) Revoke or modify the terms of the utility's certificate of territorial authority, certificate of public convenience and necessity, or other permit issued by the commission.
(e) The attorney general may bring an action in the name of the state of Indiana to enforce an order of the commission under subsection (d), including the collection of an unpaid civil penalty imposed by the commission under subsection (d)(1). The attorney general may bring the action in a court that has jurisdiction in the county where the utility has its principal place of business.
(f) The secretary of the commission shall deposit any civil penalties collected under this section in the commission public utility fund account established under IC 8-1-6.
(g) Except as provided in subsection (h), the authority granted under this section is in addition to, and may be exercised independently of, any other authority granted under this article.
(h) If, after a hearing conducted under subsection (c), the commission finds that a utility has violated:
(1) IC 8-1-29-5 ; or
(2) rules adopted under IC 8-1-29-6 ;
the commission may impose only the civil penalties allowed under IC 8-1-29-7.5.
SECTION 2. IC 8-1-2-128 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2002]: Sec. 128. (a) As used in this section, "utility" refers to a public utility over which the commission has jurisdiction.
(b) If the commission or a division of the commission:
(1) determines that the provision of utility service is necessary to prevent injury to any person or to alleviate an emergency; and
(2) directs a utility to provide utility service;
the utility shall provide utility service within twenty-four (24) hours after receiving direction from the commission or division of the commission.
(c) If the commission finds a utility has violated subsection (b), each day that the utility fails to provide service as directed by the commission or a division of the commission is considered a
separate violation for purposes of imposing civil penalties under
section 115.1 of this chapter.
SECTION 3. IC 8-1-2-115 IS REPEALED [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2002].