Usa Alabama

USA Statutes : alabama
Title : Title 37 PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
Chapter : Chapter 04 PUBLIC UTILITIES OTHER THAN TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES OR MOTOR VEHICLE CARRIERS.
Section 37-4-1

Section 37-4-1
Definitions.

Unless otherwise specified, when used in this article, these terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) COMMISSION. The Alabama Public Service Commission.

(2) COMMISSIONER. A member of the commission.

(3) MUNICIPALITY. Any municipal corporation organized under the laws of this state.

(4) PERSON. Such term shall mean and include individuals, associations of individuals, firms, partnerships, companies, corporations, municipalities, governmental agencies, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, in the singular number as well as in the plural.

(5) NONUTILITY. Any federal agency, instrumentality or corporation, owned by the United States, and any corporation or joint stock company in which the United States or any of its departments, establishments or agencies, owns more than 50 percent of the voting shares of stock of such corporation or joint stock company.

(6) SECURITIES. Such term shall mean and include stock, stock certificates, bonds, notes, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness, authorized, issued or executed by any utility.

(7) UTILITY. Such term shall mean and include every person, not engaged solely in interstate business, that now or may hereafter own, operate, lease or control:

a. Any plant, property or facility for the generation, transmission or distribution, sale or furnishing to or for the public of electricity for light, heat or power or other uses, including any conduits, ducts, or other devices, materials, apparatus, or property for containing, holding or carrying conductors used or to be used for the transmission of electricity for light, heat, or power, or other uses.

b. Any plant, property, or facility for the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale or furnishing to or for the public of natural or manufactured gas for light, heat or power or other uses.

c. Any plant, property or facility for the supply, storage, distribution, or furnishing to or for the public of water for manufacturing, municipal, domestic or other uses.

d. Any plant, property or facility for the production, transmission, conveyance, delivery or furnishing to or for the public of steam for heat or power, or other uses.

e. Any public wharf, dock or terminal.

f. Any boat line propelled by any power and not regulated by the laws of this state heretofore or hereafter enacted as a steamboat or steam packet line.

The term 'utility' shall also mean and include two or more utilities rendering joint service.

(8) RATE. Such term shall mean and include, in the plural number as well as in the singular, every individual or joint rate, classification, fare, toll, charge or other compensation for service rendered, or to be rendered, by any utility, and every rule, regulation, practice, act, requirement, or privilege in any way relating to such rate, fare, toll, charge or other compensation, and any schedule or tariff, or part of a schedule or tariff thereof.

(9) SERVICE REGULATION. Such term shall mean and include every rule, regulation, practice, act or requirement in any way relating to the service or facilities of a utility, including the voltage of electricity, the heat units, pressure and candlepower of gas, the supply, rates, and pressure of water, and in general the quality of any commodity, service or product supplied.

(10) HOLDING COMPANY. Such term shall mean and include firms, partnerships, companies, corporations, individuals and associations made up in whole or in part of individuals, firms, partners, companies, trusts at common law, corporations or any other legal entities, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, in the singular number as well as in the plural, who own or control as much as 10 percent in number or amount of the outstanding shares of common stock of any utility engaged in any intrastate business in this state.

(11) COMMON STOCK. Such term shall mean and include any and all stock, shares or interest in any such utility of such nature that the ownership or control of a majority of the stock, shares or interest, in number and amount, or in number or amount thereof, vests the control and management of such utility in the holders or owners thereof.

(12) AFFILIATED INTERESTS. Such term shall mean and include the following:

a. Every corporation and person owning or holding directly or indirectly five percent or more of the voting securities of any utility engaged in any intrastate business in this state.

b. Every corporation and person, other than those specified in paragraph a. hereof, in any chain of successive ownership of five percent or more of voting securities, the chain beginning with the holder or holders of the voting securities of such utility.

c. Every corporation or person with which the utility has a management or service contract.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9742; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §302; Acts 1951, No. 963, p. 1637; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 96-30, p. 40, §1.)Section 37-4-10

Section 37-4-10
Application to issue securities or assume obligations - Grant or denial; modifications; supplemental orders.

The commission, by its order, may grant or deny the application provided for in Section 37-4-7 as made, or may grant it in part or deny it in part, or may grant it with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as the commission may deem necessary or appropriate in the premises and may, from time to time, for good cause shown, make such supplemental orders in the premises as it may deem necessary or appropriate and may, by any such supplemental order, modify the provisions of any previous order as to the particular purposes, uses, and extent to which or the conditions under which, any securities so theretofore authorized or the proceeds thereof may be applied; subject always to the requirements of Section 37-4-7.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9745; Code 1940, T. 48, §310.)Section 37-4-100

Section 37-4-100
Short title.

This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the 'Alabama Radio Utility Act.'



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §1.)Section 37-4-101

Section 37-4-101
Definitions.

The following words, when used in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise clearly apparent from the context:

(1) COMMISSION. The Public Service Commission of Alabama.

(2) PERSON. Such term shall include any individual, partnerships, corporations, companies, associations, administrators, executors, trustees and receivers appointed by any court whatsoever.

(3) RADIO UTILITY. Any person or organization which owns, controls, operates or manages a radio utility system; except, that such definition shall not include a telephone utility or telegraph utility regulated by the commission.

(4) RADIO UTILITY SYSTEM. A system employing any facility within this state to offer a radio service on a for-hire basis to the members of the public who subscribe to such service, and which is operated under such circumstances as would require a license by the Federal Communications Commission as a miscellaneous common carrier in the domestic land mobile radio services.

(5) FACILITY. Such term shall include all real property, stations, antennae, radios, receivers, transmitters, instruments, appliances, fixtures and other personal property used by a radio utility in providing service to its subscribers.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §2.)Section 37-4-102

Section 37-4-102
When certificate required; rules governing issuance; form of application.

No person shall begin or continue the construction or operation of any radio utility system, or any geographical extension thereof, or acquire ownership or control thereof either directly or indirectly without first obtaining from the public service commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity requires or will require such construction, operation, geographical extension or acquisition. The commission is authorized to prescribe appropriate and reasonable rules and regulations governing the issuance of such certificates and is authorized to prescribe the appropriate form of applications for such certificates.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §3.)Section 37-4-103

Section 37-4-103
Hearing upon application for certificate; notice; issuance of certificate; factors considered in determining whether to issue certificate.

(a) Upon the filing of an application for such certificate, the commission shall fix the time and place for a hearing thereon and shall cause notice thereof to be given to such parties in interest as the commission may deem necessary. In the event the applicant proposes to interconnect its radio utility system with the communication system of an existing landline telephone or telegraph company, then notice of such hearing and a copy of said application shall be served upon said telephone or telegraph utility. The commission shall also cause notice of the application to be published once at least 14 days prior to the hearing in some newspaper of general circulation in the affected territory.

(b) After such hearing, the commission may issue to the applicant a certificate of public convenience and necessity in a form to be prescribed by it or may refuse to issue the same or may issue it for only partial exercise of the privilege sought, or may attach to the exercise of the right granted by the certificate such terms, limitations and conditions which it deems the public interest may require. The certificate shall include a copy of a service area map clearly showing the territory in which the radio utility system is to be constructed, extended, operated or acquired.

(c) In determining whether a certificate shall be issued, the commission shall take into consideration, among other things, the public need for the proposed service or acquisition, the suitability of the applicant, the financial responsibility of the applicant, and the ability of the applicant to perform efficiently the service for which authority is requested.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §4.)Section 37-4-104

Section 37-4-104
Continuation of facilities existing prior to September 28, 1971.

Any person who, on September 28, 1971, either is engaged in the construction or operation of any radio utility system licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, or who holds a valid existing certificate previously issued by the commission to provide interconnected radio utility service, shall receive a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission authorizing such person to continue construction or operation of such radio utility system and to provide radio utility service in the territory served by such person on September 28, 1971, if, within 90 days thereafter, such person shall file with the commission an application in the form prescribed by the commission for such certificate, including copies of the license or licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission to such person, and including copies of maps showing the area served by such person. The construction or operation of such radio utility system or the providing of such radio utility service may be lawfully continued pending the filing of such an application and the determination of same unless the commission shall, for cause, order otherwise.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §5.)Section 37-4-105

Section 37-4-105
Transfer, assignment or encumbrance of certificate.

No such certificate of public convenience and necessity may be transferred, assigned or encumbered unless such transaction is first approved, after hearing, by the commission.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §6.)Section 37-4-106

Section 37-4-106
Merger or consolidation.

No radio utility shall combine, merge or consolidate with, or acquire control of, another organization without first obtaining the approval of the commission, which shall be granted only after hearing and finding that such proposed combination, merger, consolidation or acquisition is in the public interest.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §7.)Section 37-4-107

Section 37-4-107
Revocation, suspension or alteration of certificate.

The commission may, after affording the holder an opportunity to be heard, revoke, suspend or alter any such certificate of public convenience and necessity for the willful violation of any provision of this article or the rules and regulations or orders of the commission made under the authority of this article, or for other reasonable cause.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §8.)Section 37-4-108

Section 37-4-108
Powers and duties of commission generally.

(a) The commission shall have the power and jurisdiction to supervise and regulate every radio utility operating within this state and its property, property rights, equipment, facilities, contracts, certificates and franchises so far as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article, and to do all things, whether specifically designated in this article or in addition thereto, which are necessary or convenient in the exercise of such power and jurisdiction. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the commission is authorized to adopt and enforce such reasonable rules and regulations and orders as it may deem necessary with respect to rates, charges and classifications, issuance of certificates, territory of operation, abandonment or suspension of service, adequacy of service, prevention or elimination of unjust discrimination between subscribers, financial responsibility, records, reports, safety of operation and equipment and to otherwise accomplish the purposes of this article and to implement its provisions.

(b) The commission may, after affording an opportunity for hearing, order a radio utility to make any reasonable repair or improvement of or addition to such system.

(c) The commission shall from time to time visit the places of business and other premises and examine the records and facilities of all radio utilities to ascertain if all rules and regulations and orders of the commission have been complied with, and shall have the power to examine all officers, agents and employees of such radio utilities, and all other persons, under oath, and to compel the production of papers and the attendance of witnesses to obtain the information necessary for administering the provisions of this article.

(d) The commission shall have the power and authority to institute all proceedings and investigations, hear all complaints, issue all process and orders and render all decisions necessary to enforce the provisions of this article or of the rules, regulations and orders adopted thereunder, or to otherwise accomplish the purposes of this article.

(e) The commission shall have the right to institute, or to intervene as a party in, any action in any court of competent jurisdiction seeking mandamus, injunctive or other relief to compel compliance with any provision of this article or of any rule, regulation or order adopted thereunder, or to restrain or otherwise prevent or prohibit any illegal or unauthorized conduct in connection therewith.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §9.)Section 37-4-109

Section 37-4-109
Rates, charges and classifications for services.

The commission shall prescribe just and reasonable rates, charges and classifications for the services rendered by a radio utility to subscribers, and the tariffs therefor shall be in such form and shall be filed and published in such manner and on such notice as the commission may prescribe, and shall be subject to change on such notice and in such manner as the commission may prescribe.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §10.)Section 37-4-11

Section 37-4-11
Sale, pledge or other disposition of securities.

Whenever any securities set forth and described in any such application for authority or certificate of notification as pledged or held unencumbered in the treasury of the utility shall, subsequent to the filing of such application or certificate, be sold, pledged, repledged or otherwise disposed of by the utility, such utility shall, within 10 days after such sale, pledge, repledge or other disposition, file with the commission a certificate of notification to that effect, setting forth therein all such facts as may be required by the commission.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9748; Code 1940, T. 48, §313.)Section 37-4-110

Section 37-4-110
Entry or extension into established service area.

Except as provided in Section 37-4-104, the commission shall not grant a certificate for a proposed radio utility operation, or extension thereof, into an established service area, which will be in competition with, or duplication of the service of, any other radio utility unless the commission shall first determine that the existing certificated radio utility is:

(1) Unwilling or unable to meet the reasonable needs of the public, and

(2) That the person operating the same is unable to or refuses or neglects after hearing on reasonable notice to provide reasonably adequate service.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §11.)Section 37-4-111

Section 37-4-111
Article not applicable to certain mobile radio telephone service.

The provisions of this article relate only to 'radio utilities' as defined in this article and shall not apply to mobile radio telephone service offered by landline telephone or telegraph utilities regulated by the commission.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §12.)Section 37-4-112

Section 37-4-112
Interconnection with other communications.

Each radio utility holding a certificate from the commission may interconnect its facilities with the communication facilities of any other regulated communication company operating in the area in which the radio utility is located, provided an agreement can be reached between the radio utility and the communication company providing for such interconnection; provided further, that when an agreement cannot be reached between the radio utility and the communication company, either may petition the commission for the right of interconnection, and such interconnection shall be ordered by the commission on such reasonable terms as shall be set by the commission.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §13.)Section 37-4-113

Section 37-4-113
Construction and maintenance of antennas and towers; right of eminent domain.

Any radio utility operating a radio system under authority of a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Alabama Public Service Commission shall, where necessary and upon making due compensation, have the right to construct, maintain and operate antennas and towers, for the purpose of broadcasting and receiving radio signals, upon any private lands or property, and to that end, may have and exercise the right of eminent domain; provided, that the antenna equipment be so erected, placed and maintained as not to obstruct or interfere with the ordinary use of such land or property, or with the convenience of any land or property owners, more than may be avoidable; provided further, that where it is necessary for such radio utilities to exercise the right of eminent domain, they shall proceed to exercise the same in the same manner as provided by law for the exercise of such right of eminent domain by other regulated public utilities. This section shall not authorize a radio utility to exercise the right of eminent domain in regard to the lands or property of any other regulated public utility.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §14.)Section 37-4-114

Section 37-4-114
Appeals.

From any final action or order of the commission in the exercise of the jurisdiction, power and authority conferred upon it by this article, an appeal shall lie to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, and thence to the Supreme Court of Alabama. All appeals to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County shall be taken within 30 days from the date of such action or order and shall be granted as a matter of right and be deemed perfected by filing with the Public Service Commission a bond for security of cost of said appeal; except, that when the appellant is the State of Alabama, no bond shall be required and the same shall be deemed perfected by filing notice of an appeal. Appeals to the supreme court shall be taken in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §15.)Section 37-4-115

Section 37-4-115
Violations; injunctions against persons operating without license or certificate.

(a) Any person or the officer, agent or employee of any organization who willfully violates any provision of this article or of any rule, regulation or order adopted thereunder, or who willfully procures, aids or abets any violation of such a provision, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Any person who offers radio service on a for-hire basis to the public in this state under such circumstances as would require a license by the federal communications commission as a miscellaneous common carrier in the domestic public land mobile radio service, without a certificate of public convenience and necessity, or after such certificate is cancelled, may be enjoined by the courts of this state from operating within this state, at the suit of the commission, or at the suit of a radio utility which competes with it, or of any person.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §16.)Section 37-4-116

Section 37-4-116
Fees for inspection and supervision; payment.

(a) Each radio utility, as defined in this article, doing business in this state and subject to the control and jurisdiction of the commission with respect to its rates and service regulations, shall pay quarterly to the commission, beginning on November 1, 1988, and on each quarter thereafter, February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1 of each year, a fee for the inspection and supervision of such business during the next preceding fiscal year. Such inspection and supervision fees shall be paid by such radio utilities in addition to any and all property, franchise, license, intangible and other taxes, fees and charges now or hereafter provided by law. No similar inspection and supervision fees shall be levied or assessed by any county or municipality of the state, and no part of such inspection and supervision fees shall be allowed to any county or municipality of this state. Such inspection and supervision fees shall be measured by the amount of the gross receipts of each such utility derived from the sale of air time for the fiscal year next preceding the dates herein fixed for the payment of the same, except that in case of such utilities engaged in interstate business the fee shall be measured by the gross receipts of such utilities from intrastate business only, for such preceding fiscal year, and not in any respect upon receipts derived wholly or in part from interstate business. Such fees shall be ascertained as follows: a fee of $2.85 per $1,000.00 for the first $100,000.00 or less of such gross receipts; a fee of $2.35 per $1,000.00 for each additional $1,000.00 of such gross receipts up to and including $1,000,000.00 thereof; and a fee of $1.85 per $1,000.00 for each additional $1,000.00 of such gross receipts over $1,000,000.00 thereof; but in no case shall said fee be less than $50.00, which shall be the minimum inspection and supervision fee to be paid by any radio utility, and this amount shall in any event be paid over on a quarterly basis beginning November 1, 1988, at which time the first amount due based upon the remainder of the fiscal year January 1, 1988, through September 30, 1988, is to be paid, and then to be paid on each quarter thereafter on February 1, May 1, August 1, and every year thereafter to be paid over on November 1, February 1, May 1, and August 1 for the preceding fiscal year. The commission shall keep a true record of all such amounts so paid to it, but said amounts when received by the commission shall be promptly paid over to the treasurer and shall be held in the commission's operating fund, and shall be paid out by the treasurer in payment of expenses incurred by the commission under this title, upon warrants drawn by the comptroller on the treasurer, and approved by said commission or a majority thereof. Subject to the provisions of the merit system, the commission shall have power to employ such assistants as may be found necessary to aid the commission in such regulation, and to make payment for any necessary traveling or incidental expenses incurred in connection with such regulation, which shall be paid out of said fund as aforesaid, so far as it may be available.

(b) Supervision and inspection fees provided for in this chapter shall be in default on or after the dates herein prescribed of each year, if not paid prior to that date. Any radio utility failing, in whole or in part, to pay any supervision or inspection fee, or part thereof, due by it within the time prescribed in this section for the payment of the same, shall be in default, and shall be liable to a penalty of not exceeding $5.00 per day, to be recovered by suit of the state, for every day it thereafter remains in default, and such penalty may be recovered together with the supervision and inspection fee, in default, in a single action. And the state shall have a lien upon all the property in this state of any radio utility for the payment of the supervision and inspection fees provided by this article, to be paid, and the penalties in this section provided for, which lien shall be superior to all other liens, except the lien for state, county and municipal taxes.

(c) Any radio utility may, at its own election, pay over the total fee due for the preceding fiscal year on November 1 of each year, such payment to be governed by the provisions of subsection (b).



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §17; Acts 1989, No. 89-943, p. 1852, §3; Acts 1991, No. 91-586, p. 1075, §1.)Section 37-4-117

Section 37-4-117
Treatment of utility as part of general system.

For all the purposes of this article, the commission may, in its discretion, deem and treat any radio utility, the property of which is operated in connection with or as a part of a general system of any other radio utility and all of the capital stock of which or substantially all of the capital stock of which is owned or controlled by such other radio utility, or by any person or persons who own or control all of the capital stock or substantially all of the capital stock of such other radio utility, as a part of or consolidated with such owning or controlling radio utility or such other radio utility whose stock is so owned or controlled.



(Acts 1971, No. 1595, p. 2733, §17.)Section 37-4-12

Section 37-4-12
Guarantee or obligation on part of state not to be implied.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to imply any guarantee or obligation as to such securities on the part of the State of Alabama.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9749; Code 1940, T. 48, §314.)Section 37-4-13

Section 37-4-13
Provisions of article not applicable to certain notes.

The provisions of Sections 37-4-7 through 37-4-12 shall not apply to notes issued by a utility for the proper purposes and not in violation of law, payable at a period of not more than two years from the date thereof, and aggregating (together with all other outstanding notes of a maturity of two years or less) not more than five percent of the tangible fixed capital as defined in the accounting classification as prescribed by the commission, and shall not apply to like notes issued by a utility, payable at a period of not more than two years from the date thereof, to pay, retire, discharge or refund, in whole or in part, any such note or notes, and shall not apply to renewals thereof from time to time, not exceeding in the aggregate six years from the date of the issue of the original note or notes so renewed or refunded. No such notes payable at a period of not more than two years from the date thereof shall, however, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, be paid, retired, discharged or refunded by any issue of securities of another kind of any term or character, or from the proceeds thereof without the approval of the commission. Within 10 days after the making of any such notes, so payable at periods of not more than two years from the date thereof, the utility issuing the same shall file with the commission a certificate of notification, in such form as may from time to time be determined and prescribed by the commission, setting forth as nearly as may be the same matters as those required in respect of application for authority to issue other securities.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9750, 9751; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §§315, 316.)Section 37-4-130

Section 37-4-130
Right to condemn.

Every electric public utility corporation organized under the laws of this state, and every such corporation organized under the laws of any other state of the United States and which has complied with the constitution and laws of this state as to foreign corporations, may in addition to its other rights and powers acquire by condemnation ways and rights-of-way or easements, without limitation as to width, on, over, under or across the lands or easements of others, on, over, under or across which it may erect, construct, operate and maintain transmission and distribution lines for the transmission, distribution, supply and sale of electric power. Such corporation shall have the right and authority to clear and remove from such lands, rights-of-way or easements all timber and other growth, and the right and authority to remove outside of such lands, rights-of-way or easements such timber as may injure or endanger by shading, falling or otherwise, any of its lines or works, and for that purpose may acquire such timber and other growth by condemnation. Such corporation may acquire by condemnation lands, on or under which it may erect, construct, operate and maintain steam or other electric generating plants and substations for the manufacture, distribution and supply of electric power to the public. Such corporation may condemn any dwelling house, garden, stable, lot or barn, or any yard or curtilage of any dwelling house, or so much of such yard or curtilage as may be necessary, for any of the purposes enumerated in this article.



(Acts 1953, No. 434, p. 540, §1.)Section 37-4-131

Section 37-4-131
Procedure for condemnation.

The procedure for condemnation under Section 37-4-130 shall be in the manner provided for the condemnation of lands and rights-of-way or easements for public use in Chapter 1A of Title 18; or, at the option of the condemning party, in the manner provided in any other statute conferring the power of eminent domain on public utility corporations.



(Acts 1953, No. 434, p. 540, §2.)Section 37-4-15

Section 37-4-15
Reports by utility.

The commission shall require periodical or special reports from each utility hereafter issuing any security, including such notes payable at periods of not more than two years from the date thereof, which shall show, in such detail as the commission may require, the disposition made of such securities and the application of the proceeds thereof.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9752; Code 1940, T. 48, §317.)Section 37-4-16

Section 37-4-16
Validity of securities issued without authorization; penalty for violation.

Securities issued and obligations and liabilities assumed by a utility, for which under the provisions of this chapter the authorization of the commission is required, shall not be invalidated because issued or assumed without such authorization therefor having first been obtained, or because issued or assumed contrary to any term or condition of such order of authorization as modified by any order supplemental thereto entered prior to such issuance or assumption. Securities issued or obligations or liabilities assumed in accordance with all the terms and conditions of the order of authorization therefor shall not be affected by a failure to comply with any provision of this chapter or rule or regulation of the commission relating to procedure and other matters preceding the entry of such order of authorization or order supplemental thereto. A copy of any order made and entered by the commission as in this chapter provided (duly certified by a commissioner or by the secretary of the commission) approving the issuance of any securities or the assumption of any obligation or liability by a utility, shall, in and of itself, be sufficient evidence, for all purposes, of full and complete compliance by the applicant for such approval with all procedural and other matters required precedent to the entry of such order. Any utility or officer, agent or employee thereof, acting within the scope of his official duties of employment, who willfully issues any such securities, or assumes any such obligation or liability, or makes any sale or other disposition of securities, or applies any securities or the proceeds thereof to purposes, other than the purposes specified in an order of the commission with respect thereto, contrary to the provisions of this chapter, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $10,000.00, but the utility is only required to specify in general terms the purpose for which any securities are to be issued, or for which any obligation or liability is to be assumed, and the order of the commission with respect thereto shall likewise be in general terms.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9753; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §318.)Section 37-4-17

Section 37-4-17
Valuation of utility property - When made; assistants and examiners; factors considered.

The commission may, upon its own motion, at any time, and upon reasonable notice to any utility, when the commission deems it necessary to ascertain the value of the property of such utility, proceed to investigate, ascertain and report the value thereof, and shall make such investigation, ascertainment and report upon the request and application of any utility. To enable the commission to make such investigation and report, if upon its own motion, it may employ such experts and other assistants as it may deem necessary. If such investigation and report is made upon the application of a utility, the same shall be made and the experts and assistants employed by the commission for that purpose shall be employed at the expense of the utility making such application. The commission may appoint examiners who shall have the power to administer oaths, examine witnesses and take testimony in connection with any such investigation. In arriving at a valuation of the property of any utility as provided in this section, the commission shall give due consideration to the history and development of the utility and its property, original cost, cost of reproduction as a going concern and other elements of value recognized by the laws of the land for rate-making purposes. For the purpose of making such investigation, the members of the commission and its duly authorized agents and employees shall at all reasonable times have free access to the property, accounts, records and memoranda of the utility whose property and rights are being valued, and such utility shall aid and cooperate with the commission and its duly authorized agents and employees to the fullest degree for the purpose of facilitating such investigation. Upon the completion of the valuation of any utility, as provided in this article, the commission shall thereafter keep itself informed of all extensions and improvements or other changes in the condition and values of the property of such utility, and shall ascertain the value thereof, and shall from time to time revise and correct its valuation to the extent that may be necessary by reason of such extension and improvements or other changes in the physical condition and resulting value of such property; and to this end every utility shall make such report and furnish such information as the commission may require.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9757; Code 1940, T. 48, §319.)Section 37-4-18

Section 37-4-18
Valuation of utility property - Notice; filing of protest; finality.

Whenever the commission shall have completed its valuation and report of the property of any utility, as provided in this article, and before such valuation shall become final, the commission shall give notice to such utility and to every municipality in the state where such utility renders service, as shown by the records of the commission, stating the valuation placed upon the property valued, and shall allow 90 days in which such utility, or any person who uses the service of such utility, or any municipality in which such utility operates, may file a protest of the same with the commission. If no protest is filed within 90 days, the valuation fixed by such report shall become final, as of the date thereof.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Acts 1923, No. 82, p. 62; Code 1923, §9758; Code 1940, T. 48, §320.)Section 37-4-19

Section 37-4-19
Valuation of utility property - Hearing upon protest; corrections; final order.

If notice of protest is filed, the commission shall fix a time for hearing the same and shall proceed as promptly as possible to hear and consider any matter relative and material thereto which may be presented in support of any such protest so filed. If, after hearing any such protest, the commission shall be of the opinion that its valuation should not be made final, it shall make such changes as may be necessary to do justice, and shall issue an order making such valuation as corrected final as of the date thereof, which order shall be a final order of the commission. If, after hearing any such protest, the commission shall be of the opinion that its valuation should be made final, it shall issue an order making such valuation final as of the date thereof, which order shall likewise be a final order of the commission. Any such final order and the commission's report of valuation upon which the same is based shall be a permanent public record of the commission, and shall be kept on file at its office. If no protest is filed as provided in Section 37-4-18 and such report of valuation by the commission becomes final as therein provided, then the valuation fixed in such report shall for all future rate-making purposes be the permanent basic valuation of the property of such utility unless there be a revaluation of the property of such utility as is provided in this article. If such protest is filed and after hearing thereof and order thereon, no appeal be taken to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, then the valuation fixed by such final order thereon shall for all future rate-making purposes be the permanent basic valuation of the property of such utility unless there is a revaluation of the property of such utility as is provided in this article.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9759; Code 1940, T. 48, §321.)Section 37-4-2

Section 37-4-2
Jurisdiction of commission limited as to nonutilities.

The commission shall not have any jurisdiction, authority, power or control in any respect whatsoever over any nonutility, as defined in Section 37-4-1, except as may be provided in Division 2 of Article 2 of this chapter. Any utility, as defined by Section 37-4-1, may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any or all of its property, including, without limitations, any franchise, rights, contracts, business, good will, capital stock and all other assets to any such nonutility without the approval or consent of the commission, except as may be provided in Division 2 of Article 2 of this chapter.



(Acts 1935, No. 1, p. 1; Code 1940, T. 48, §303.)Section 37-4-20

Section 37-4-20
Valuation of utility property - Revaluation.

(a) If the valuation of the property of any utility has become final as provided in this article, or if such valuation becomes final as provided in Section 37-4-18, the commission may, within 90 days after any valuation hereafter made becomes final, proceed for reasons which it shall deem sufficient to make a revaluation of the property of such utility of which a valuation has been made or may be made under the provisions of this chapter, such revaluation being had upon the principles declared in this chapter; and the commission may to this end make such further investigation as provided in this chapter as it may see fit. The commission shall give notice to any utility of its intention to proceed to a revaluation of the property of such utility.

(b) Whenever the commission shall have completed its revaluation, it shall make a report thereof, and before such revaluation shall become final, the commission shall give notice to such utility, and to each municipality in which it renders service as shown by the records of the commission, stating the valuation placed upon the property so revalued, and shall allow 60 days in which such utility, or any person who uses the service of such utility, or any municipality in which such utility operates, may file a protest of the same with the commission. If no protest is filed within 60 days, the valuation fixed in such report of revaluation shall become final, as of the date thereof. If notice of protest is filed by any utility whose property is so revalued, or by any person who uses the service of such utility or any municipality in which such utility operates, the commission shall fix a time for hearing the same and shall proceed as promptly as practicable to hear and consider any matter relative and material thereto which may be presented in support of any such protest so filed. If, after hearing any such protest, the commission shall be of the opinion that the valuation fixed in its report of revaluation should not be made final, it shall make such changes as may be necessary to do justice, and shall issue an order making such valuation as corrected, final as of the date thereof, which order shall be a final order of the commission. If, after hearing any such protest, the commission shall be of the opinion that the valuation fixed in its report of revaluation should be made final, it shall issue an order making such valuation final as of the date thereof, which order shall likewise be a final order of the commission. Any such final order and the commission's report of revaluation upon which the same is based shall be a permanent public record of the commission, and shall be kept on file at its office. If no protest is filed as provided in this article, and the valuation fixed by the commission in its report of revaluation becomes final, as herein provided, then the valuation fixed in such report of revaluation shall for all future rate-making purposes be the permanent basic valuation of the property of such utility. If protest is filed as provided in this article, and after hearing thereof, and order thereon, no appeal is taken to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, then the valuation fixed by such final order on the commission's report of revaluation shall for all future rate-making purposes be the permanent basic valuation of the property of such utility.

(c) In the case of any revaluation in a proceeding in which the final order of valuation is made, the cost of services of engineers, accountants or other experts employed and used by the commission in such revaluation proceeding shall be borne by the commission where such revaluation is by the commission on its own motion, or upon the application of some person other than the utility whose property is involved.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9759, 9761; Code 1940, T. 48, §§321-323.)Section 37-4-21

Section 37-4-21
Valuation of utility property - Appeals.

When any order of valuation or of revaluation of the commission has become a final order, an appeal may be taken therefrom by the utility or by any person, as defined in this article, who is a party to the cause before the commission, to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, within 30 days from the date of such final order, and upon the hearing of such appeal that court shall have the right to affirm the order of the commission, or reverse the same and remand the case to the commission for further consideration. From any such judgment of the circuit court, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court of Alabama, which court shall have the right to affirm the judgment of the circuit court, or to reverse the same and remand the case to the commission for further consideration. If the case should be reversed and remanded to said commission by either the circuit or the supreme court, the commission shall proceed to a consideration thereof in accordance with the mandate of said court and the law as applicable thereto.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9762; Code 1940, T. 48, §324.)Section 37-4-22

Section 37-4-22
Contract rates.

(a) Rates and service regulations may be established by contract between a municipality and utility for a specified term, not exceeding 30 years, but only by and with the approval of the commission to be expressed by its order. Utilities may contract with each other and with persons who are not utilities in respect of the use of their properties and facilities, the sale or exchange of water, gas, electricity or other products or commodities, otherwise than pursuant to established rates, the distribution to the public of such products and commodities jointly or singly, and the territory within which such joint or single service shall be rendered and other matters deemed to be of mutual advantage, subject, however, in all such cases, to the approval of the commission; but no person shall participate in such distribution who is not a utility.

(b) Whenever any such contract shall be made, it shall, before becoming effective, be submitted to the commission. If the commission shall find the provisions of any such contract consistent with the public interest, it shall approve the same. Otherwise, it shall disapprove the same, and unless and until so approved, such contract shall be of no effect; but if it is approved, it shall in all respects be lawful. Whenever a utility provides for itself by contract, as above provided, a source of supply of any product or commodity which it would otherwise be under the duty to generate or manufacture, it shall, to such extent as the commission may order, be excused from the construction or maintenance of plant, facilities and equipment necessary for such generation or manufacture.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9763, 9764; Code 1940, T. 48, §§325, 326.)Section 37-4-23

Section 37-4-23
Inspection and supervision fees - Generally.

Each utility, as defined in this chapter, doing business in this state and subject to the control and jurisdiction of the commission with respect to its rates and service regulations, shall pay quarterly to the commission beginning November 1, 1985 and on each quarter thereafter February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1 of each year, a fee for the inspection and supervision of such business. Such inspection and supervision fees shall be paid by such utilities in addition to any and all property, franchise, licence, intangible and other taxes, fees and charges now or hereafter provided by law. No similar inspection and supervision fees shall be levied or assessed by any county or municipality of the state, and no part of such inspection and supervision fees shall be allowed to any county or municipality of this state. Such inspection and supervision fee shall be measured by the amount of the gross receipts of each such utility for the fiscal year next preceding the dates fixed in this article for the payment of the same, except that in case of such utilities engaged in interstate business, the fees shall be measured by the gross receipts of such utilities from intrastate business only, for such preceding fiscal year, and not in any respect upon receipts derived wholly or in part from interstate business. Such fees shall be ascertained as follows: A fee of $2.85 per $1,000.00 for the first $100,000.00 or less of such gross receipts; a fee of $2.35 per $1,000.00 for each additional $1,000.00 of such gross receipts up to and including $1,000,000.00 thereof; and a fee of $1.85 per $1,000.00 for each additional $1,000.00 of such gross receipts over $1,000,000.00 thereof; but in no case shall said fee be less than $25.00, which shall be the minimum inspection and supervision fee to be paid by any utility. However, all utilities with gross intrastate receipts in excess of $60,000,000.00 per calendar year will continue to submit the quarterly payment of fees, as due on the intrastate gross receipts of the fiscal year ended September 30, 1984, through August 1, 1985. On September 1, 1985 such utilities shall pay fees due based on gross receipts for the calendar quarter ended December 31, 1984. Beginning November 1, 1985 such companies shall pay over on a quarterly basis fees based on gross receipts for the calendar quarter ended March 31, 1985 and henceforth for the calendar quarters ending June 30, September 30, December 31 and March 31 of each year on the following February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 of each year respectively. The commission shall keep a true record of all such amounts so paid to it, but said amounts when received by the commission shall be promptly paid over to the treasurer and shall be held in the commission's operating fund by him except those funds identified in Section 37-4-88 which are designated for the 'gas pipeline safety fund,' and shall be paid out by the treasurer in payment of expenses incurred by the commission under this title upon warrants drawn by the comptroller on the treasurer, and approved by said commission or a majority thereof. Subject to the provisions of the merit system, the commission shall have power to employ such assistants as may be found necessary to aid the commission in such regulation, and to make payment for any necessary traveling or incidental expenses incurred in connection with such regulation, which shall be paid out of said fund as aforesaid, so far as it may be available. Payment of the supervision and inspection fees provided for under this section shall in all respects be governed by the provisions of Section 37-4-24.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9765; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §327; Acts 1981, No. 81-718, p. 1210, §1; Acts 1985, No. 85-756, p. 1256, §2; Acts 1989, No. 89-943, p. 1852, §2; Acts 1991, No. 91-586, p. 1075, §1.)Section 37-4-24

Section 37-4-24
Inspection and supervision fees - Recovery of delinquent fees.

(a) Supervision and inspection fees provided for in this chapter shall be in default after February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1 of each year, if not paid prior to or on that date. In the event that the amount payable by any utility for any quarter cannot be ascertained on or before the dates herein prescribed for payment each year, such utility shall, in any event, pay the minimum supervision and inspection fee provided in this article, and in addition such part of any additional supervision and inspection fee as may be ascertainable on or before the date of default; and when any further or additional amount payable for such quarter can be ascertained, the same shall be paid within 30 days after it becomes possible to ascertain the same. Any utility failing, in whole or in part to pay any supervision or inspection fee, or part thereof, due by it within any of the time prescribed in this article, for the payment of the same, shall be in default, and shall be liable to a penalty of not exceeding $50.00 per day, to be recovered by a civil action brought by the state, for every day it thereafter remains in default, and such penalty may be recovered together with the supervision and inspection fee, in default, in a single action. And the state shall have a lien upon all the property in this state of any utility for the payment of the supervision and inspection fees provided by this chapter, to be paid, and the penalties in this section provided for, which lien shall be superior to all other liens, except the lien for state, county and municipal taxes.

(b) Any utility company may, at their own election, pay over the total fees due for the preceding fiscal year on November 1 of each year.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9767; Code 1940, T. 48, §328; Acts 1981, No. 81-718, p. 1210, §1.)Section 37-4-25

Section 37-4-25
Intercorporate relations - Treatment of utility as part of general system.

For all the purposes of this chapter the commission may, in its discretion, deem and treat any utility, the property of which is operated in connection with or as a part of a general system of any other utility and all of the capital stock of which or substantially all of the capital stock of which is owned or controlled by such other utility, or by any person or persons who own or control all of the capital stock or substantially all of the capital stock of such other utility as a part of or consolidated with such owning or controlling utility or such other utility whose stock is so owned or controlled.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9792; Code 1940, T. 48, §329.)Section 37-4-26

Section 37-4-26
Intercorporate relations - Agreements with holding companies or affiliated interests.

Every utility engaged in any intrastate business in this state must file with the commission a true and correct statement, properly verified, of every outstanding or existing agreement between it and any holding company or affiliated interests, substantially affecting the financial status or credit of the utility, or the management or control of the utility by such holding company or affiliated interests. Thereafter, it shall be the duty of every such utility, within 30 days after the making thereof, to file with the commission a verified statement of every new agreement or modification of an existing agreement of like character; provided, that the commission may, by affirmative action, relieve any utility from the duty or obligation of filing any such statement. The commission shall have full authority and power to investigate any such agreement, and if the commission, after due notice and hearing, finds that such agreement is unjust and unreasonable, the commission shall make and enter such order as is just and reasonable relating thereto.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §330.)Section 37-4-27

Section 37-4-27
Special or reduced rates.

All utilities may grant free transportation or service, or transportation or service at reduced rates, to such persons as are now or may hereafter be authorized by law to receive the same, and may grant free transportation or service, or transportation or service at reduced rates, to their officers, agents, attorneys or employees, and their families, and may exchange the same with other utilities.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9794; Code 1940, T. 48, §331.)Section 37-4-28

Section 37-4-28
Certificate of convenience and necessity - When required; application; issuance.

No plant, property or facility for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of gas, electricity, water or steam shall be constructed, except ordinary extensions of existing systems in the usual course of business, until written application is first made to the commission for the issuance of a certificate of convenience and necessity, and the issuance by the commission of such certificate. Upon the filing of any such application, and after a public hearing of all parties interested, the commission may, or may not, in its discretion, issue such a certificate of convenience and necessity, and if issued, may prescribe such conditions upon the issuance as it may deem advisable.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9795; Code 1940, T. 48, §332.)Section 37-4-29

Section 37-4-29
Certificate of convenience and necessity - Time for exercising authority conferred.

Unless exercised within a period designated by the commission, but not exceeding one year from the grant thereof, exclusive of any delay due to the order of any court, or the failure to obtain any grant or consent, authority conferred by a certificate of convenience and necessity issued by the commission shall be null and void; but the beginning of the construction of the road, line, system or works of such utility, in good faith within the time prescribed by the commission, and the prosecution of the same with reasonable diligence, shall constitute a compliance with such certificate.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9797; Code 1940, T. 48, §334.)Section 37-4-3

Section 37-4-3
Officers and directors occupy fiduciary relationship.

The officers and directors of every corporation operating as a utility shall be deemed to stand in a fiduciary relation to the corporation, and shall discharge the duties of their respective offices or positions in good faith and with that diligence, care and skill which ordinary prudent men would exercise under similar circumstances and conditions.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §305.)Section 37-4-30

Section 37-4-30
Obtaining electric service under a private contract; definitions.

(a) No existing electric customer shall obtain electric service under a private contract for electric service without first giving written notice to the utility currently providing it retail electric service at least 45 days prior to the date on which the private contract for electric service is to become effective. In the event any utility currently providing service to the existing electric customer determines that it or its other electric customers will be adversely affected by the loss of the existing electric customer due to the private contract for electric service, it may, within 45 days of the date of the existing electric customer's written notice of a private contract for electric service, file a petition for review of the private contract for electric service as set forth below and service under such contract shall not be initiated until 45 days after such review has been completed and an order concerning such review has been issued by the Public Service Commission or a circuit court; provided, however, that if the utility currently providing electric service is a utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, the existing electric customer may file with the secretary of said commission, and if the utility currently providing electric service is a utility exempt from or otherwise not subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, the existing electric customer may file with the clerk of the circuit court in the judicial circuit in which the existing electric customer is located, a bond in the amount of the utility's estimate of the stranded costs associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract for electric service as set forth below, with two or more sureties, to be approved by the Public Service Commission or by one of the judges of the circuit court, as the case may be, one of which may be a surety company, payable to the utility and conditioned to pay all stranded costs associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract, as well as interest thereon for the period from the date of transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract to the existing electric customer's payment of the stranded costs associated with the referenced transfer as such reasonable rate as the Public Service Commission or circuit court, as the case may be, shall determine, and upon the filing of the bond, service under the private contract for electric service may be initiated on the date on which the private contract for electric service is to become effective, or thereafter at the election of the existing electric customer, subject to the further orders of the Public Service Commission or circuit court, as the case may be, as set forth below.

In any such proceeding, upon the request of the existing electric customer or the utility, a protective order may be entered protecting the confidentiality of information in the private electric contract or the utility's contract with the existing electric customer, where it is asserted by the existing electric customer or the utility that the contract contains sensitive business information the disclosure of which may compromise competition or the proprietary rights of the existing electric customer, the proposed electric supplier, or the utility.

(i) If the utility currently providing electric service is a utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, it may file a petition for review with the Public Service Commission and the existing electric customer shall be made a party to any such proceeding. The utility's petition for review shall state its estimate of the stranded cost associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract for electric service. Upon filing of such petition, the existing electric customer seeking to enter into a private contract for electric service shall submit the contract to the Public Service Commission for its review in accordance with the requirements of this section. The Public Service Commission shall review the private contract for electric service to determine whether the contract is consistent with the public interest by determining whether the private contract for electric service will materially impair the ability of any utility currently providing service to the existing electric customer to provide efficient and reliable service at a reasonable cost to and for the public which it continues to serve. If the Public Service Commission determines that the private contract for electric service is not inconsistent with the public interest, it may approve the private contract, but to ensure that no utility or electric customer will be adversely affected, shall require the existing electric customer to reimburse any utility, for any and all reasonable stranded costs associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract for electric service. In appropriate circumstances, the commission may allow, upon the posting of adequate security, payments by the existing electric customer of any and all reasonable stranded costs associated with the transfer over a period of up to five years with appropriate consideration to the utility for the time value of such method of payment. The Public Service Commission shall, within 90 days after the completion of the hearings and arguments, if any, and the filing of briefs, if any, in the review of a petition filed hereunder, or upon a rehearing thereof, decide the matter.

(ii) If the utility currently providing electric service is a utility exempt from or otherwise not subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, it may file a petition for review with the circuit court in the judicial circuit in which the existing electric customer shall be made a party to any such proceeding. The utility's petition for review shall state its estimate of the stranded cost associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract for electric service. Upon the filing of such petition, the existing electric customer seeking to enter into a private contract for electric service shall submit the contract to the circuit court for its review in accordance with the requirements of this section.

The circuit court shall review the proposed private contract for electric service to determine whether approval of the contract is consistent with the public interest. The proposed private contract for electric service shall not be consistent with the public interest if its approval and becoming effective would materially impair the ability of any utility currently providing service to the existing electric customer to provide efficient and reliable service at a reasonable cost to and for the public which it continues to serve. If the circuit court determines that the private contract for electric service is not inconsistent with the public interest, it shall approve the contract, but to ensure that no utility or electric customer will be adversely affected by approval of the proposed private contract for electric service, shall require the existing electric customer seeking approval of the proposed private contract for electric service to reimburse any utility for any and all reasonable stranded costs associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service under the private contract for electric service. In appropriate circumstances, the circuit court may allow, upon the posting of adequate security, payments by the existing electric customer of any and all reasonable stranded costs associated with the transfer over a period of up to five years with appropriate consideration to the utility for the time value of such method of payment.

For its aid, in making the determinations required hereunder, as to both the public interest and the compensation to be paid a utility where a private contract for electric service is determined not to be inconsistent with the public interest, the circuit court shall, upon motion of any party, refer the case to a panel of three commissioners to be appointed by the court. Each commissioner shall be knowledgeable and experienced in the operations of electric utilities and shall meet the qualification requirements applicable to a master under Rule 53(a), Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. The existing electric customer and the utility petitioning for relief may each submit a list of not less than three nor more than five nominees to be appointed as commissioners. The court shall, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, select one commissioner from the list submitted by the existing customer and one commissioner from the list submitted by the complaining utility. If one or both parties nominate no commissioners, the court may appoint a commissioner or commissioners, qualified under this section by knowledge and experience, of its own choosing. The two commissioners so appointed shall nominate a third commissioner qualified by knowledge and experience under this section. The court shall approve such nominee or shall appoint such other person qualified under this section as the court may determine to serve as the third commissioner. By agreement of the existing electric customer seeking approval of the private contract for electric service and the utility currently serving the customer, a single commissioner qualified under this section, jointly nominated by those parties and approved by the court, may serve instead of three commissioners.

The commissioners shall have all the powers vested in a master appointed under Rule 53, Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, and shall conduct hearings, gather facts, and issue their report in a manner consistent with Rule 53 or its successor in purpose and effect.

At the close of the commissioners' examination and deliberations, the commissioners shall issue a report including their recommendations to the circuit court stating (1) whether the private contract for electric service would materially impair the existing utility's ability to provide efficient and reliable service to its other electric customers at a reasonable cost, and (2) if not, recommending the compensation and reimbursement to be made to any utility adversely affected by the loss of its existing customer by virtue of the private contract for electric service.

The parties shall have 30 days following the issuance of the commissioners' report, or such longer period as the court may grant upon cause shown, to examine the commissioners' report and submit to the court objections or exceptions thereto.

At the close of the 30-day period following issuance of the commissioners' report, and following a hearing upon such objections and exceptions, the commissioners' report shall be approved by the court and incorporated into its order, except insofar as the report's conclusions, or any material conclusion of the report, are clearly erroneous. In that event, the court may incorporate the report's recommendations, with modifications necessary to correct the errors, in its order; may refer the report to the commissioners for further deliberation, analysis and recommendations, following the issuance of which the court may incorporate the commissioners' amended recommendations into its order; or the court may reject the entire report and resolve the issues as the objectives of this section may require.

Either party may appeal to the Supreme Court from the action or order of the circuit court under the same rules and in the same manner and under the same conditions as are or may be provided by law for appeals from circuit court as of right to the Supreme Court in other cases.

A commissioner under this section shall be compensated under the provisions of Rule 53(a), Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, or its successor in purpose and effect.

Any commissioner acting hereunder and the circuit court, in determining the stranded costs associated with the transfer of the existing electric customer's service, at a minimum, may consider any guidelines, formulas and methodologies or decisions accepted, utilized, or issued by the Public Service Commission in its evaluation of private contracts for electric service under subsection (a)(i) hereof.

(b) The term 'private contract for electric service' shall mean and include any transfer of an existing electric customer's service to another utility, electric service provider or any other entity, whether or not the utility, electric service provider or any other entity is subject to the general jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, where current service to the existing customer will be terminated or curtailed. The term 'existing electric customer' shall mean and include any retail consumer of electric service at the premises to which electric service has previously been rendered by a utility, including a utility exempt from or otherwise not subject to the general jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

'Stranded costs' means all verifiable costs or obligations incurred by a utility in order to provide service to electric customers in the area served by the utility that cannot actually be recovered through mitigation upon the transfer of the existing electric customer to another supplier. These costs shall include, without limitation, such items as costs of investment in generating, transmission and distribution facilities; obligations for purchased power, fuel, and transmission charges; costs of assets required to be capitalized under utility accounting principles or by regulatory order; and other fixed costs incurred by the utility to provide service.

(c) The term 'private contract for electric service' shall not include any arrangement under which the electric generation source is wholly-owned, for federal income tax purposes, by the consumer of the electric service, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the electric consumer's parent company. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Public Service Commission or the circuit court, as appropriate, may review an arrangement pursuant to this section when it determines that a transaction, viewed in its totality and regardless of structure, is a private contract for electric service because of the involvement of entities other than the electric consumer.

(d) The term 'private contract for electric service' shall not include contracts or arrangements entered into earlier than May 6, 1996, or subsequent amendments, alterations, modifications, or extensions of such contracts or arrangements.

(e) The term 'utility,' solely for the purpose of this Section 37-4-30, shall include a utility providing retail service to, or in privity of contract with, the existing electric customer but shall also, in addition, include a utility, whether a distribution, transmission or generation utility, providing wholesale or power supply service to the utility that is providing retail service or that is in privity of contract with the existing electric customer. The term 'utility,' solely for the purpose of this Section 37-4-30, shall also include a utility board for the operation of water, sewer, gas and electric systems organized pursuant to the provisions of Section 11-50-310, et seq., an electric utility board organized pursuant to the provisions of Section 11-50-490, et seq., or an iImprovement authority organized pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-7-1, et seq.



(Acts 1996, No. 96-395, p. 486, §1.)Section 37-4-4

Section 37-4-4
Directors not to delegate or relinquish duties.

The directors of corporations which are utilities engaged in any intrastate business in this state shall not, in any manner, delegate or temporarily or permanently relinquish or surrender their duty or obligation while occupying said office.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §306.)Section 37-4-40

Section 37-4-40
Right to sell or lease property.

The property of a utility, together with its franchises, contracts, business, good will and other assets, may be lawfully sold and conveyed or leased to, and thereafter lawfully held, enjoyed and operated by, a purchaser then engaged or proposing to engage in the business conducted by such utility; or the capital stock of a corporation owning and operating a utility may be lawfully sold and conveyed to, and thereafter lawfully held and enjoyed by, a purchaser, whether or not such purchaser is engaged, or proposes to engage, in the business conducted by such utility; whenever such sale and conveyance or lease of the property, franchises, contracts, good will and other assets of such utility, or whenever the sale and conveyance of the capital stock of such corporation is consistent with the interests of the public.



(Acts 1915, No. 205, p. 268; Code 1923, §9825; Code 1940, T. 48, §337.)Section 37-4-41

Section 37-4-41
Approval by commission - Generally.

In cases other than those covered by Section 37-4-42, the question whether the proposed sale and conveyance or lease is consistent with the interests of the public shall be determined by the Public Service Commission, and if the commission determines that the proposed sale and conveyance or lease is consistent with the interests of the public, its determination shall be shown by its approval of the proposed sale and conveyance or lease. Thirty days' notice in a newspaper published in each municipality involved of such application shall be given before the hearing by the commission. If all, or substantially all, of the property and assets of any utility or corporation is proposed to be sold under the provisions of this division, the same procedure shall be necessary as in the case of other private corporations.



(Acts 1915, No. 205, p. 268; Code 1923, §9827; Code 1940, T. 48, §339.)Section 37-4-42

Section 37-4-42
Approval by commission - Property located within single municipality.

In cases where the property of the utility proposed to be sold and conveyed or leased lies within, and the franchises and public duties thereof relate to a single municipality, and in cases where such a utility is owned by a corporation, and its capital stock is proposed to be sold, the question whether the proposed sale and conveyance or lease is consistent with the interests of the public shall be determined by the governing body of such municipality, and also by the Public Service Commission, and if the governing body of such municipality and the commission shall each determine that the proposed sale and conveyance, or lease, is consistent with the interests of the public, their determination shall be shown by their approval of the proposed sale and conveyance or lease.



(Acts 1915, No. 205, p. 268; Code 1923, §9826; Code 1940, T. 48, §338.)Section 37-4-43

Section 37-4-43
Otherwise legal sales, etc., not affected.

Nothing in this division shall be construed to limit or restrict any right to sell, lease, hypothecate or mortgage any property, or to invalidate any legal sale, lease, hypothecation or mortgage thereof, where the same is legal without reference to the provisions of this division.



(Acts 1915, No. 205, p. 268; Code 1923, §9828; Code 1940, T. 48, §340.)Section 37-4-44

Section 37-4-44
Sale of property in interstate commerce contrary to federal law not authorized.

Nothing contained in this division shall be construed to authorize the sale and conveyance of property employed in the business of commerce among or between the states and territories of the United States or District of Columbia contrary to the laws of the United States.



(Acts 1915, No. 205, p. 268; Code 1923, §9829; Code 1940, T. 48, §341.)Section 37-4-45

Section 37-4-45
Conveyance of water distribution facilities to public authority or corporation by not-for-profit entity without necessity of commission approval.

Any provision of this division to the contrary notwithstanding, any not-for-profit corporation or other not-for-profit entity owning, operating, leasing or controlling any plant, property or facility for the supply, storage, distribution or furnishing to or for the public of water for manufacturing, municipal, domestic or other uses, may sell, convey, lease or otherwise dispose of any or all of such plant, property, or facility, and its other properties, including without limitation any franchises, rights, contracts, business, good will and all other assets, to any public authority or corporation that is organized under the laws of Alabama and that is empowered to own, operate, lease or control such plant, property or facility, all without the necessity of any approval or consent of the Public Service Commission.



(Acts 1981, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 81-1197, p. 530.)Section 37-4-5

Section 37-4-5
Sale or purchase of securities by utility employees.

No utility shall permit any employee to sell, offer for sale, or solicit the purchase of any security of any other person or corporation during such hours as such employee is engaged to perform any duty of such utility; nor shall any utility by any means or device whatsoever require any employee to purchase or contract to purchase any of its securities or those of any other person or corporation; nor shall any utility require any employee to permit the deduction from his wages or salary of any sum as a payment or to be applied as a payment on any purchase or contract to purchase any security of such utility or of any other person or corporation.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §304.)Section 37-4-6

Section 37-4-6
Payment of dividends.

(a) No utility engaged in intrastate business in this state shall pay any dividend upon its common stock until: The utility's earnings and earned surplus are sufficient to declare and pay same after provision is made for reasonable and proper reserves. The dividend then proposed to be paid upon such common stock can reasonably be declared and paid without impairment of the ability of the utility to perform its duty to render reasonable and adequate service at reasonable rates. If any common stock dividends are proposed to be declared and paid other than as above provided, the utility shall give the commission at least 30 days' notice in writing of its intention to so declare and pay such dividends.

(b) If at any time the commission shall find that the capital of any utility is impaired, the commission may, after due notice, investigation and hearing, issue an order directing such utility to cease paying dividends on its common stock until reasonable proof has been made to the commission that such impairment has been made good, and that the status of the utility has become such that common stock dividends may reasonably and properly be paid after the utility has made full compliance with the law and with the commission's rules and regulations pertaining thereto.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §§307, 308.)Section 37-4-60

Section 37-4-60
Notice of intention to engage in business.

Whenever any municipal corporation, county improvement authority, power district, federal or other governmental agency, sometimes called 'agency' in this division, proposes to engage in the business of operating an electric light plant or distribution system, or of furnishing electric service for industrial, domestic or other consumption and at the time such agency proposes to engage in such business there is then in existence within the territory in which it is proposed to furnish such electric service a plant or distribution system, either or both, or any part or parts thereof, furnishing the service so proposed to be furnished by such agency, then such agency, as a condition precedent to the exercise of such authority, shall notify the owner of such plant or system by registered or certified mail of its intention to engage in such business and of its willingness to acquire on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon so much of such plant and system as shall be located in the territory in which the agency proposes to furnish such service and as shall be necessary and convenient therefor.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Code 1940, T. 48, §342.)Section 37-4-61

Section 37-4-61
Voluntary sales.

If within 30 days after receipt of such notice the owner shall propose voluntarily to sell and transfer such property to the agency upon terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon between the owner and the agency and approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission, and serve a copy of such proposal upon the agency and upon the commission, the commission shall fix a time and place to hear and consider such proposal and notify all parties interested therein. If the terms and conditions of purchase and sale shall be agreed upon by and between the owner and the agency and approved by the commission, the commission shall announce its approval thereof by appropriate order, and the agency shall by resolution or ordinance, as the case may be, authorize and direct the execution on the part of the agency of such contract in writing and other instrument and take any and every other action with reference thereto necessary or appropriate to consummate such purchase and sale and the transfer to the agency of possession of such acquired property and payment therefor in accordance with the terms of such agreement. If the owner fails or refuses to advise such agency within 30 days after receipt of such notice of its purpose to sell such property, then the agency may proceed as provided by law to construct, condemn or otherwise acquire a plant or system within the designated territory; and the advice to be given by the owner to such agency shall be sufficient if it advises that the owner is willing to sell the property provided the valuation as finally determined by the commission or court is satisfactory to the owner. Upon the owner advising of its willingness to sell such property, acquisition of the property sought to be acquired shall proceed with the rights and privileges to the respective parties as set forth in this division.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Acts 1939, No. 414, p. 554; Code 1940, T. 48, §343.)Section 37-4-62

Section 37-4-62
Forced sales - Application to commission; notice and hearing; order.

If acquisition of the property sought to be acquired by the agency is not consummated under the provisions of Sections 37-4-60 and 37-4-61, the agency, before proceeding to engage in the proposed business, shall take such steps as may be provided in this division. If the agency and the owner fail within 60 days after written notice to the owner of the utility as provided in this division to consummate the proposed acquisition, either the agency or the owner may apply to the commission within 15 days after the expiration of such 60 days for a determination as to what property ought in the public interest to be included in the purchase and what price ought to be paid, having in view the cost of the property less a reasonable allowance for depreciation and obsolescence, and any other element which may enter into a determination of the fair value of the property to be purchased; but such price shall be determined without enhancement on account of future earning capacity or good will, or of exclusive privileges derived from rights in the public streets or roads. Thereupon, the commission, after notice to all interested parties, shall hold a hearing thereon and make the determination aforesaid. Such purchase shall include such portion of the property of the owner within the limits of the agency as is suitable for, and used in connection with, the generation or distribution of electricity within the agency or within the territory which the agency proposes to serve. The price shall include damages, if any, which the commission finds would be caused by the severance of the property proposed to be included in the purchase from other property of the owner. Such severance damages shall be separately found by the commission, and shall not exceed 15 percent of the amount, exclusive of such damages, fixed by the commission to be paid to the owner. If any such property is subject to any mortgages, liens or other encumbrances, the commission in making its determination shall provide for the deduction or withholding from the purchase price, pending discharge, of such sum or sums as it deems proper. The determination provided in this division shall be made by order, and such order shall be deemed a final order of the commission. The commission may impose in its order reasonable conditions relating to the terms and conditions of the proposed acquisition and shall state in its order the findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which its determination and the conditions attached thereto are based.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Code 1940, T. 48, §344.)Section 37-4-63

Section 37-4-63
Forced sales - Appeals to circuit court.

Any party shall have the right to appeal from the order of the commission, such appeal to be governed by existing provisions of law relating to appeals from final orders of the commission; except, that such appeal shall be taken to the circuit court of the judicial circuit containing the greater portion, by value, of the property to be acquired, and such appeal shall be taken within 10 days from the filing of the order of the commission. The order of the commission shall specify the judicial circuit in which the greater portion of the property, by value, is located, and such specification shall be conclusive for fixing the venue of an appeal. On any such appeal, if the court shall determine that any condition imposed by the order of the commission is unreasonable or that the commission has erred in determining the just compensation to be paid, the court shall proceed to enter the judgment the commission should have entered. Any action brought under the provisions of this division shall have a preferred status before the commission and in the courts as to trial and disposition thereof.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Code 1940, T. 48, §345.)Section 37-4-64

Section 37-4-64
Forced sales - Time for complying with order; tender of deed; acceptance or rejection.

The owner shall have 30 days after a final determination by the commission or the courts to notify the agency of its acceptance of such determination and shall have a further period of 30 days to tender a good and sufficient deed of conveyance to the agency of the property required by the order of the commission or the court to be purchased by placing such deed in escrow with the commission or the court, as the case may be, and to comply with all other terms and conditions of the order or judgment. The agency shall have 60 days from the date of the deposit of the deed in escrow to accept or reject such deed, and if it accepts, the agency shall have a further period of 60 days to pay to the owner the price determined as provided in this division and to comply with all other terms and conditions of the order or judgment. For good cause shown the commission or the court may extend any period of time fixed in this section, such extension or extensions not to exceed a total of 60 days. If the owner fails to notify the agency of his acceptance and make tender of a deed as provided in this division within the time so fixed or extended, or to comply with all other terms and conditions of the order or judgment, the agency may proceed as provided by law to construct or otherwise acquire a plant or system within the territory where the property of such owner or any part thereof is located. If the agency shall reject the tender provided in this division for or shall fail to pay the purchase price of the property determined as provided in this division or to comply with all other terms and conditions of the order or judgment, the agency shall not engage in the business of operating an electric public utility in the territory where the property involved is located until it shall again be authorized, as provided by this division and the general law relating thereto, to engage in such business, and such agency shall not again institute proceedings under this division sooner than two years from the date of such rejection or the expiration of the time for the payment of such purchase price, as the case may be.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Code 1940, T. 48, §346.)Section 37-4-65

Section 37-4-65
Certain systems or projects exempted.

Nothing in this division shall be deemed to require the purchase of or payment of compensation for any existing plant or distribution system within the corporate limits of any agency in which the construction of any electric distribution system has been already authorized by an election held prior to September 12, 1939, nor shall this division apply with respect to any project for which loans or grants have been made or were under contract to be made by the United States through the Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works, the Federal Works Administrator, the Commissioner of Public Works, the Federal Works Agency, or the Public Works Administration, prior to September 12, 1939, nor shall this division apply to rural electric membership corporation distribution systems.



(Acts 1939, No. 244, p. 405; Acts 1939, No. 414, p. 554; Code 1940, T. 48, §347.)Section 37-4-7

Section 37-4-7
Application to issue securities or assume obligations - When required; order of commission.

No utility shall issue any securities, or assume any obligation or liability, as lessor, lessee, guarantor, endorser, surety or otherwise, in respect to the securities of any other person unless and until, and then only to the extent that, upon application by the utility, and after investigation by the commission of the purposes and uses of the proposed issue, and the proceeds thereof, or of the proposed assumption of obligation or liability in respect of the securities of any other person, the commission by order authorizes such issue or assumption. The commission shall make such order only if it finds that such issue or assumption is for some lawful object within the corporate purposes of the utility, is compatible with the public interest, is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by the utility of its service to the public as such utility and will not impair its ability to perform that service and is reasonably necessary and appropriate for such purpose. Any such order of the commission shall specify the purposes for which any such securities or the proceeds thereof may be used by the utility making such application.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9744; Code 1940, T. 48, §309.)Section 37-4-8

Section 37-4-8
Application to issue securities or assume obligations - Form; contents; oath; signatures; by whom filed.

Every application for authority for such issue or assumption shall be made in such form and contain such matters as the commission may prescribe. Every such application and every certificate of notification provided for in this article shall be made under oath, signed and filed on behalf of the utility by its president, a vice-president, auditor, comptroller or other executive officer having knowledge of the matters therein set forth and duly designated for that purpose by the utility.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9746; Code 1940, T. 48, §311.)Section 37-4-80

Section 37-4-80
Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is expressly stated or clearly indicated by the context:

(1) PUBLIC UTILITY. Any person, firm, corporation or other legal entity of any kind engaged in the transportation and sale of gas and shall include the State of Alabama, every county in the State of Alabama, every municipality in the State of Alabama, every public body or corporation of whatever kind in the State of Alabama, as well as every private or nonpublic entity, when engaged in the transportation and sale of gas.

(2) GAS. Natural gas, flammable gas or gas which is toxic or corrosive.

(3) TRANSPORTATION OF GAS. The gathering, transmission, distribution and storage of natural gas and the transmission and distribution by pipeline of all kinds of gas other than natural gas.

(4) PIPELINE SYSTEM. New and existing pipe rights-of-way and any pipeline, equipment, facility and building, or any of the foregoing, used by a public utility in the transportation of gas or the treatment of gas during the course of transportation; but 'rights-of-way,' as used in this article does not authorize the commission to prescribe the location or routing of any pipeline, equipment, facility or building, or any of the foregoing.

(5) COMMISSION. The Alabama Public Service Commission.

(6) FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS. The minimum standards of safety adopted by the United States Department of Transportation pursuant to the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-481) or any amendments thereto, and any rules and regulations promulgated by any regulatory agency of the United States having jurisdiction thereof.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §1.)Section 37-4-81

Section 37-4-81
Compliance with federal minimum safety standards.

All pipeline systems used in this state for the transportation of gas shall be constructed, operated and maintained in such safe manner as at all times to be in compliance with the defined federal minimum safety standards.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §2.)Section 37-4-82

Section 37-4-82
Powers of commission - Generally.

The commission shall have the right, power and authority: To provide and make certifications, reports and information to the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; to enter into agreements with said secretary to carry out the purposes of this article; to enforce federal safety standards in the State of Alabama in lieu of enforcement by the said department of transportation as permitted in the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (P. L. 90-481); and to exercise regulatory jurisdiction over the safety of pipeline systems and the transportation of gas as permitted by the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (P. L. 90-481).



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §3.)Section 37-4-83

Section 37-4-83
Powers of commission - Promulgation of rules; requiring records; inspections.

In order to determine whether or not each such pipeline system is operating in compliance with the required safety standards and to enforce such compliance, the Alabama Public Service Commission shall have the right, power and authority to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to facilitate such purposes. It may require each such pipeline system to make, maintain and file such books, papers, records and documents as the commission may deem necessary, which books, papers, records and documents shall be made available to members of the commission and their employees upon request. Authorized personnel of the commission shall be authorized to inspect all such pipeline systems, facilities and equipment and shall have the right of access and entry to all buildings and property owned, leased or operated by such systems.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §4.)Section 37-4-84

Section 37-4-84
Powers of commission - Employment of personnel.

The Alabama Public Service Commission shall be authorized to employ, subject to the provisions of the Merit System Act, such inspectors or other qualified employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §6.)Section 37-4-85

Section 37-4-85
Powers of commission - Limitations.

Nothing in this article shall be deemed to confer upon the commission any additional power and jurisdiction to supervise or regulate the rates, services, franchises or other matters pertaining to pipeline systems or transportation of gas except with respect to the enforcement of federal safety standards prescribed by the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; nor shall anything in this article be deemed to confer upon the commission any power to adopt or continue in force any standards for pipeline systems or transportation of gas subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission as prohibited by Section 3 (b) of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-481).



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §8.)Section 37-4-86

Section 37-4-86
Jurisdiction of circuit court.

Upon petition of the commission, the circuit court in any county in which a violation of this article exists shall have jurisdiction to restrain such violations and to enforce compliance with the safety standards herein required.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §5.)Section 37-4-87

Section 37-4-87
Penalties.

(a) Any person who violates any provision of this article or of any regulation issued hereunder shall be subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed $10,000.00 for each violation for each day that the violation persists. However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000.00 for any related series of violations.

(b) Any civil penalty may be compromised by the commission. In determining the amount of the penalty, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, the appropriateness of the penalty to the size of the business of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, and the good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance, after notification of a violation, shall be considered. The amount of the penalty, when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, may be deducted from any sums owing by the State of Alabama to the person charged, or may be recovered in a civil action brought by the commission in the circuit court of any county in which a violation exists.



(Acts 1969, Ex. Sess., No. 204, p. 273, §7; Acts 1990, No. 90-568, p. 965, §1.)Section 37-4-88

Section 37-4-88
Safety inspection fees.

(a) Any gas system operated by any investor-owned company, city, county, municipality, or public gas district which comes under the supervision of the commission for the purpose of enforcing the gas pipeline safety requirements of this article, shall pay annually on October first of each year an inspection fee to the commission of $.50 per active service line for the previous calendar year ending December 31, for each active service line in said system.

(b) Any investor-owned company, partnership, public housing authority or public entity created by Act of Congress or state legislature that uses a master meter for one or more units, shall pay the inspection fee based upon the number of all units on premises served by said master meter.

(c) All provisions of this section are applicable to any and all liquefied petroleum gas installations that come under the enforcement provisions of the commission.

(d) All said inspection fees collected under this provision shall be paid into a fund to be known as the 'gas pipeline safety fund' and shall be kept separate and apart from all other funds by the commission.

(e) Payment of gas pipeline safety inspection fees provided for under this section shall in all respects be governed by the provisions of Section 37-4-23 and Section 37-4-24.

(f) In the event said 'gas pipeline safety fund' accumulates by September 30 in any year to an amount equal to 110 percent of the amount budgeted in that current fiscal year for the purpose of enforcing the gas pipeline safety requirements of this article, the commission shall suspend the collection of said inspection fees for one year.

(g) Upon July 25, 1983, the additional revenue generated herein shall be over and above the appropriation of the commission for fiscal year 1983-84.



(Acts 1983, No. 83-588, p. 920; Acts 1984, No. 84-259, p. 431, §1.)Section 37-4-9

Section 37-4-9
Application to issue securities or assume obligations - Time for disposition by commission.

All applications for the issuance of securities or assumption of liability or obligation shall be placed at the head of the commission's docket and disposed of promptly, and all such applications shall be disposed of in 60 days after the same are filed with the commission, unless it is necessary for good cause to continue the same for a longer period for consideration. Whenever such application is continued beyond 60 days after the time it is filed, the order making such continuance must state fully the facts necessitating such continuance.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9747; Code 1940, T. 48, §312.)Section 37-4-90

Section 37-4-90
Definitions.

For the purposes of this article the following words and terms shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is expressly stated or clearly indicated by the context:

(1) PERSON. Any individual, firm, joint venture, partnership, corporation, association, or joint stock association and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or personal representative thereof engaged in the transportation of hazardous liquids.

(2) HAZARDOUS LIQUID:

a. Petroleum, petroleum products; or anhydrous ammonia.

b. Any substance or material which is in liquid state, including liquified natural gas (LNG), when transported by pipeline facilities and which may pose an unreasonable risk to life or property when transported by pipeline facilities;

(3) TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS. The movement of hazardous liquids by intrastate pipeline, or their storage incidental to such movement, except that it shall not include: any such movement through gathering lines in rural locations, coastal waters, or onshore production; refining or manufacturing, cleansing and processing facilities, not including LNG facilities; or storage or in-plant piping systems associated with any such facilities;

(4) FACILITIES. Includes, without limitation, new and existing pipe, right-of-way, any equipment, facility, or building used or intended for use in the transportation of hazardous liquids, and any facility used in the liquification of natural gas, but 'rights-of-way' as used in this title does not authorize the commission to prescribe the location or the routing of any pipeline facility;

(5) COMMISSION. The Alabama Public Service Commission;

(6) FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS. The minimum standards of safety adopted by the United States Department of Transportation pursuant to the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-129) (Title 49 C.F.R., Parts 191-195) or any amendments thereto, and any rules and regulations promulgated by any regulatory agency of the United States having jurisdiction thereof.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §1.)Section 37-4-91

Section 37-4-91
Operation and maintenance.

All facilities used in this state for the transportation of hazardous liquids and the liquification of natural gas shall be constructed, operated and maintained in such safe manner as at all times to be in compliance with the defined federal minimum standards.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §2.)Section 37-4-92

Section 37-4-92
Commission - Power and authority.

The commission shall have the right, power and authority: to provide and make certification, reports and information to the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; to enter into agreements with said secretary to carry out the purposes of this article; to enforce federal safety standards in the State of Alabama in lieu of enforcement by the said department of transportation as permitted in the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-129); and to exercise regulatory jurisdiction over the safety of pipeline facilities and the transportation of hazardous liquids as permitted by the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-129).



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §3.)Section 37-4-93

Section 37-4-93
Commission - Power to promulgate rules and regulations.

In order to determine whether or not each such pipeline facility is operating in compliance with the required safety standards and to enforce such compliance, the Alabama Public Service Commission shall have the right, power and authority to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to facilitate such purposes. It may require each such pipeline system to make, maintain and file such books, papers, records and documents as the commission may deem necessary, which books, papers, records and documents shall be made available to members of the commission and their employees upon request. Authorized personnel of the commission shall be authorized to inspect all such pipeline facilities, systems, and equipment and shall have the right of access and entry to all buildings and property owned, leased or operated by such systems.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §4.)Section 37-4-94

Section 37-4-94
Jurisdiction to restrain violations of article.

Upon petition of the commission, the circuit court in any county in which a violation of this article exists shall have jurisdiction to restrain such violations and to enforce compliance with the safety standards herein required.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §5.)Section 37-4-95

Section 37-4-95
Authorization to employ inspectors and other qualified employees.

The Alabama Public Service Commission shall be authorized to employ, subject to the provisions of the Merit System Act, such inspectors or other qualified employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §6.)Section 37-4-96

Section 37-4-96
Penalties.

(a) Any person who violates any provision of this article or any regulation issued hereunder shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each violation for each day that the violation persists. However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000.00 for any related series of violations.

(b) In determining the amount of the penalty, the appropriateness of the penalty to the size of the business of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, and the good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance, after notification of a violation, shall be considered. The amount of the penalty, when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, may be deducted from any sums owing by the State of Alabama to the person charged, or may be recovered in a civil action brought by the commission in the circuit court of any county in which a violation exists.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §7; Acts 1990, No. 90-568, p. 965, §1.)Section 37-4-97

Section 37-4-97
Limitation on commission's powers.

Nothing in this article shall be deemed to confer upon the commission any additional power or jurisdiction to supervise or regulate the rates, services, franchises, or other matters pertaining to pipeline facilities or transportation of hazardous liquids except with respect to the enforcement of federal safety standards prescribed by the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation.



(Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-915, p. 508, §8.)

USA Statutes : alabama