HF 2452 – Acquisition of small water utilities
HF 2452 (SF 2312) modifies legislation passed in 2018 that established a process for communities that may want to sell their water systems. Currently, the cities of Blue Grass and Dixon are using this process to sell their wastewater systems, but challenges for smaller systems, often the most in need of help, have been identified.
This bill creates a category of communities referred to as “at-risk” communities, defined a community that meets the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) definition of “disadvantaged community,” which is based on the finances of the community; a system that has violations of federal or state regulations that affect the safety, adequacy or efficiency of the operations; or a system that has failed to have a certified operator for more than a 12-month period.
The bill allows the DNR to provide an alternate enforcement timeframe in the event of a sale, to give the new organization time for compliance without threat of penalties. It also gives the Iowa Utility Board 180 days to review, approve or disapprove an acquisition. The bill passed the House 98-0.
[6/12: 49-0 (Absent: Hogg)]