Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

April 19, 2024

Aquarion appeals trial court’s ruling in favor of PURA; former AG Jepsen part of legal team

HBJ Photo | Gregory Seay Former Attorney General George Jepsen.

As expected, Aquarion Water Co. has filed an appeal with the state’s Appellate Court seeking to overturn a judge’s decision in favor of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

On March 25, New Britain Superior Court Judge Matthew Budzik upheld PURA’s March 2023 decision, in which it cut $40 million from Aquarion’s proposed revenue increase.

In the initial appeal, Aquarion argued that PURA’s decision was “confiscatory” and threatened its financial stability.

Budzik disagreed. He dismissed nine of the 12 total counts in Aquarion’s appeal and found that PURA correctly applied its standards. He remanded three counts, which involved minor technicalities, to PURA for reconsideration.

Aquarion is asking the Appellate Court to review that ruling.

“The trial court’s decision upholding nearly all aspects of this stunning decision threatens Aquarion’s financial integrity and imposes an outcome that is ‘punitive,’ ‘anti-business,’ and ‘contemptuous’ of the utilities PURA is charged with regulating,” attorney John Cerreta, a partner with Day Pitney, wrote in a preliminary filing with the Appellate Court dated April 8.

Among the issues for the Appellate Court to decide is whether the trial court erred in upholding PURA’s decision to disallow Aquarion’s cost recovery for $42.13 million of plant additions. In a preliminary statement of issues, Aquarion said PURA treated those costs differently than it did $651 million of similar plant additions.

Bridgeport-based Aquarion, a subsidiary of Eversource, is represented by high-powered team of attorneys that includes former Attorney General George Jepsen, and his chief deputy, Perry Rowthorn, along with four Day Pitney attorneys including Cerreta, Erick Sandler, Johanna Lerner and Lauren Moscato – in addition to Eversource’s in-house counsel.

PURA is represented by two attorneys from the Attorney General’s office, along with three attorneys from the Office of Consumer Counsel, which has intervened on behalf of PURA.

Aquarion provides drinking water to 685,000 residents and businesses in Connecticut.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF