State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski testified today about proposed rate increases by water and sewage companies and their impact on the community during a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission public hearing held telephonically.
Pashinski spoke about the importance of affordable access to clean water as a necessity and not just a commodity, as the proposed rate hikes have been criticized for disproportionately affecting senior citizens and low-income families. He also underscored the need for the PUC to rigorously scrutinize these increases and hold corporations accountable.
“It is unfair that many in our community might have to face the challenges of water and sewage rates,” said Pashinski. “These people often must choose between paying the water bills and putting food on the table for them and their loved ones. We ought to be saving them money, not increasing the amount of money they must pay.”
Data presented indicated that the proposed rate increases are steep and unprecedented, especially during a time when residents are already facing economic challenges, including inflation. Pashinski called for the PUC’s intervention to safeguard the public interest and explore mitigation strategies, such as renewable and efficient water and sewage management systems.
“I originally reached out to the PUC in January of 2023 requesting an investigation and a public comment period to address the excessive request of rate increases,” Pashinski said. “I am grateful for the PUC’s action and their continued pursuit to determine a fair and reasonable rate increase because it is important that the PUC knows that increasing these rates would hurt many in our communities.”
Pashinski also emphasized the need for and importance of continued public hearings in affected areas to ensure efficient and responsive action from the PUC.
Read more in the Times-Leader.