Water, Sewer & Storm Water Rate Board

About

In November 2012, Philadelphia voted to amend the Home Rule Charter to allow City Council to establish an independent body: Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board.

The Board was formed to replace the Water Department as the entity responsible for setting water, wastewater, and storm water rates. This Rate Ordinance became effective January 20, 2014.

The Board must:

  • Use open and transparent processes and procedures for public comment on proposed rates and charges.
  • Implement regulations for rate hearings and determination of rates and charges consistent with the Philadelphia Code.
  • Follow existing Water Department regulations regarding rate setting until new regulations are adopted.
  • Hold public hearings prior to fixing and regulating rates.

The Water Department must provide supporting documentation (including financial accounting and engineering data) to the Board with regard to:

  1. establishing revenue requirements necessary to meet the System’s immediate and long-term operating and capital needs,
  2. maintaining the utility’s financial stability (with reliance upon the Financial Stability Plan), and
  3. providing a fair allocation of costs among customer groups based upon cost of service principles.

The Rate Ordinance requires that when the Water Department has proposed changes in rates and charges, the Board must prepare a written report containing the information the Board used in reaching its decision to approve, modify, or reject the proposed rates and charges. The Board’s decision must be made no later than 120 days from the filing of notice of any such proposed changes. If the Board can’t act on the proposed rates and charges within that time frame, the Water Department may set emergency rates and charges until a final determination is made by the Board.


Documents

These documents include regulations and other resources external to individual Rate Proceeding Records but relevant to the Board’s operation and rate increase decisions.

Current Rates and Charges
Title Author Date
Philadelphia Water Department Rates and Charges Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board July 1, 2016

Regulations & Relevant Legal Authority
Title Author Date
Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board Regulations Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board September 11, 2017
Legal Authority: Bill No. 140607-AA Philadelphia City Council June 19, 2014

View Archived Documents

Note: Board Meeting notes and agendas can be found at the bottom of the Meetings & Hearings page.


Board Members

The board consists of five members serving staggered terms. The members are appointed by the Mayor and continue to serve until a replacement is installed.

Sonny Popowsky
Chairperson

Mr. Popowsky served as the Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania from 1990-2012. He also served as the Vice Chairman of the United States Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee from 2012 to 2016 and currently serves on the Advisory Councils of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, City Council voted to reconfirm Mr. Popowsky to serve an additional five-year term as Chairperson of the Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board. (Term expires July 1, 2023.)

Folasade A. Olanipekun-Lewis
Secretary

Appointed Chief Administrative Officer to the Philadelphia International Airport effective January 28, 2016, Ms. Folasade (Sade) A. Olanipekun-Lewis has worked in many areas of Philadelphia government for over 20 years.  Previously, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for City Council; Deputy Commerce Director for Finance and Administration; Chief Financial Officer for the School District; and also as City Treasurer, where her responsibilities included overseeing the issuance of debt and other financing instruments and managing the investment of cash reserves of the city totaling about $2 billion. (Term expires July 1, 2020.)

Tony Ewing
Member

Vice President at Liberty Property Trust, Tony is responsible for creating and managing development and leasing strategies within Liberty’s real estate holdings in the Greater Philadelphia region. Tony’s commercial real estate experience includes acquisitions, dispositions, construction, and asset management of multiple property types such as office, warehouse, medical, and manufacturing space. Mr. Ewing is a licensed real estate salesperson in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. (Term expires July 1, 2022.)

Rasheia R. Johnson
Member
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Abby Pozefsky
Member

Ms. Pozefsky has been a licensed practicing attorney for over 40 years and has worked in various capacities in Philadelphia government since 1986. She has served as Philadelphia: Water Department General Counsel; Airport General Counsel; Law Department, Chief Deputy of Regulatory Affairs: Gas Works, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer; and School District, Legal Department transformation consultant.  (Term expires July 1, 2021.)


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