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State Of New Jersey Division of Ratepayer Advocate  


In the Matter of the Takeover and Transfer of the Franchise
and Assets of the Seabrook Water Corporation

BPU Docket No. WX04030214

Seabrook, New Jersey
August 2, 2004
7:00 p.m.

Good evening. My name is Sarah Steindel, and I am an attorney representing the New Jersey Division of the Ratepayer Advocate. Our office was created by the New Jersey Legislature to represent ratepayers in cases such as this which affect utility rates and services.

The Ratepayer Advocate has been given notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) have initiated legal proceedings against the Seabrook Water Corporation (“Seabrook”) that may result in the transfer of Seabrook to another public or private water supplier. The legal proceedings were brought under the New Jersey Small Water Companies and Small Sewer Companies Takeover Act, which authorizes the DEP and the BPU to order takeovers of small water and sewer companies that are in violation of DEP Orders. The DEP and the BPU have found cause to initiate this proceeding based on ongoing failures by Seabrook to maintain adequate well capacity and storage, as well as ongoing violations of water quality standards.

The Ratepayer Advocate will be monitoring these proceedings and advocating for the interests of Seabrook’s customers. Our goal in this proceeding is to ensure that Seabrook’s customers receive quality service at affordable rates. The DEP and the BPU will make the final determination whether to order a takeover or to pursue other measures to provide Seabrook’s customers with proper water service.

The purpose of this open public hearing is for the DEP to present a technical report on the deficiencies in Seabrook’s water system and to identify options for correcting them. Several public and private water suppliers and county and municipal government officials have been invited to this meeting to provide comments, views, and information regarding the deficiencies in Seabrook’s system. In addition, members of the public may relate their experiences with Seabrook and offer comments about any service problems they may be experiencing. It is important that you express your views so they may become part of the record on which the Hearing Officer will make a recommendation to the DEP and the BPU regarding the proposed takeover. The Ratepayer Advocate also needs to hear your views. Your active participation is strongly encouraged to help us represent your interests in this legal proceeding.

This hearing is being transcribed and your comments will become part of the record. I would like to reiterate the importance of your participation so that the Ratepayer Advocate can have a clear record of your concerns and interests.

On behalf of the Ratepayer Advocate, thank you for attending tonight’s hearing.

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New Jersey Division Of The Ratepayer Advocate
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