Wisconsin Stat. § 196.372
While replacement of most utility-owned infrastructure containing lead, including mains, goosenecks, and service lines generally does not require approval from the Commission, the provision of financial assistance to help customers replace the customer-side of lead service lines does require Commission approval. See
Wis. Stat. § 196.372. In order to use ratepayer dollars for replacement of customer-side lead service lines, utilities need to meet the requirements found in Wis. Stat § 196.372. These requirements include:
- The municipal government in which the utility provides financial assistance must enact an ordinance that: a.) permits the utility to provide financial assistance to private property owners; and, b.) requires that customers replace their service lines that contain lead.
- When utilities replace a customer-side LSL, the utility must ensure that the utility-side service line and the main either do not currently contain lead or are replaced at the same time as the portion owned by the property owner.
- The utility must submit an application and obtain approval for its replacment program from the PSC.
Wisconsin Stat. §196.372 also includes definitions and restrictions on how a utility may provide financial assistance:
- "Customer-side water service line" means the portion of a water service line owned by a property owner.
- "Financial assistance" means a grant, loan, or combination thereof.
- "Utility-side water service line" means the portion of a water service line owned by a water public utility.
- Grants provided as financial assistance to a property owner may not exceed 50% of the cost to replace the customer-side water service line.
- Any loan provided to a property owner may not be forgiven by the utility or the municipality.
- If the utility intends to provide financial assistance as a percentage of the cost of replacing the property owner's portion of the service line, the percentage must be the same for each owner in a class of customers.
- If the utility intends to provide financial assistance as a specified dollar amount, the amount must be the same for each owner in a class of customers.
How to Apply for PSC Approval of Customer-Owned Lead Service Line Replacement Programs
Schedule a Pre-Application Conference. Commission staff recommends utilities with a high number of lead service lines or those that do not have experience with DNR's Private Lead Service Line Replacement Funding Program schedule a pre-application web conference with Commission and DNR staff. These conferences are useful in helping utility staff understand the requirements of the PSC application process, as well as developing a LSL replacement program that incorporates sound industry practices for minimizing lead and copper in drinking water. The utility should prepare a Power Point presentation that describes its proposed program and other items included in the
Application Checklist for PSC Approval of Customer-Side Lead Service Lines. The Power Point format will allow for utility and agency staff to participate remotely.
Submit an Application to the Commission. To apply for Commission approval, a utility should provide the information described in the application checklist and any additional information identified in the pre-application conference. Upload the completed application and related documents (PDF format) to the
PSC Electronic Records Filing (ERF) System using the
Utility's PSC identification number.