State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter3

CHAPTER 3 - Rates, Interchange of Services and Safety

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-3-101. Rates to be just, reasonable and uniform; exceptions.

 

Allrates shall be just and reasonable, and all unjust and unreasonable rates areprohibited. A rate shall not be considered unjust or unreasonable on the basisthat it is innovative in form or in substance, that it takes into considerationcompetitive marketplace elements or that it provides for incentives to a publicutility. Except as otherwise provided in W.S. 15-7-407, no public utility shallin any manner charge, demand, collect or receive from any person greater orless or different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered bythe public utility than is charged, demanded, collected or received by thepublic utility from any other person for a like and contemporaneous serviceunder similar circumstances and conditions. The commission may determine thatrates for the same service may vary depending on cost, the competitivemarketplace, the need for universally available and affordable service, theneed for contribution to the joint and common costs of the public utility,volume and other discounts, and other reasonable business practices. Nothingin this title shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate service to its current or pensioned employees and dependent family membersunder rates approved by the commission.

 

37-3-102. Only prescribed rates to be charged.

 

Nopublic utility shall directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever, or inanywise, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person a greater or lessor different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered by suchpublic utility than that prescribed in the schedules of such public utilitythen filed and published in the manner provided in this act, nor shall anyperson receive or accept any service from a public utility for a compensationgreater, less or in any way different from that prescribed in such schedules.

 

37-3-103. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-104. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-105. Free or reduced rates of transportation to certain classesof persons authorized.

 

Nothingin this act shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate of transportation of the person or property over its line to officers,attorneys, surgeons, directors or employees of such public utility or dependentmembers of their families, or to former employees of such public utility, ordependent members of their families where such employees are pensioned or havebecome disabled in the service of such public utility or are unable fromphysical qualifications to continue in such service; or to ministers ofreligion, traveling secretaries of Young Men's Christian Associations, inmatesof hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions, and personsexclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destituteand homeless persons and to such persons when transported by charitablesocieties or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in suchtransportation; to inmates of the national or state homes for disabledvolunteer soldiers, and of soldiers' and sailors' homes, including those aboutto enter and those returning home after discharge; to state adjutant of theGrand Army of the Republic, to state adjutant of the Spanish-American WarVeterans, and to the department commander, department chairman, child welfarecommittee, and the state adjutant of the American Legion, to the departmentcommander and department adjutant and rehabilitation officer of the DisabledAmerican Veterans of the World War; to the department commander and departmentadjutant and service officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the UnitedStates; to necessary caretakers of livestock, poultry, milk and fruit, and fishand spawn for use in stocking public streams; to employees on sleeping cars andexpress cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to railwaymail service employees, post office inspectors, custom inspectors, andimmigration inspectors; to instructors of the state militia, to sheriffs anddeputy sheriffs of counties in which, into which, or through which such publicutility is operated; to the state pure food commissioner, state game and fishcommissioner, members of the state game and fish commission and chief assistantstate game and fish commissioner and state veterinarian (no person so carriedshall be paid mileage by the state for such transportation); to chiefs ofpolice of cities in which, into which, or through which such public utility isoperated; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses attending any legalinvestigation in which the common carrier is interested, persons injured inwrecks and physicians and nurses attending such persons; nor prohibit theexchange of transportation of the persons or of property or of service by suchpublic utility with officers, attorneys, surgeons, directors, or employees ofother public utilities or their families, nor to prohibit any common carrierfrom carrying passengers or property free with the object of providing reliefin cases of general epidemic, pestilence or other calamitous visitation, or incase of blockade, wreck or interrupted service, nor to prevent a common carrierfrom furnishing a special train or a special car or cars and transportationthereon free of charge for the benefit of any state institution, nor to preventthe furnishing of a special train or car or cars and transportation thereonfree of charge for the purpose or with the object of demonstratingagricultural, manufacturing or business methods; and provided further, thatnothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the privilege of passes orfranks, or the exchange thereof with each other, for the officers, agents,employees, surgeons, physicians and attorneys and their families of telegraph,telephone and cable lines, and the officers, agents, employees, surgeons,physicians and attorneys and their families of other public utilities subjectto the provisions of this act; provided, further, that the term"employees" as used in this paragraph [section] shall includefurloughed, pensioned and superannuated employees, persons who have becomedisabled or infirm in the service of such public utilities, and the remains ofa person killed in the employment of a carrier and ex-employees traveling forthe purpose of entering the service of such public utilities; and the term"families" as used in this paragraph [section] shall include thefamilies of those persons named in this proviso, also the families of personskilled, and the widows, during widowhood, and minor children, during theminority, of persons who died while in the service of any such public utility.Any public utility violating this provision shall be deemed guilty of amisdemeanor, and for each offense, on conviction, shall pay to the state ofWyoming a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), nor more thantwo thousand dollars ($2,000.00), and any person, other than the personsexcepted in the provision, who uses any such free pass or free transportation,shall be subject to like penalty.

 

37-3-106. Temporary suspension of rates; burden of proof; notice ofrate changes; bonding; refunding of amounts collected in excess of final rates.

 

 

(a) At any hearing as provided in this actinvolving an increase in rates or charges sought by a public utility, theburden of proof to show that the increased rate or charge is just andreasonable shall be upon the utility.

 

(b) Unless the commission otherwise orders, no public utilityshall make any change in any rate which has been duly established except afterthirty (30) days notice to the commission, which notice shall plainly state thechanges proposed to be made in the rates then in force, and the time when thechanged rates will go into effect. The utility shall also give such notice ofthe proposed changes to other interested persons as the commission in itsdiscretion may direct. All proposed changes shall be shown by filing newtariffs which shall be kept open to public inspection. When the commissionestablishes any rate which is innovative in form or substance, takes intoconsideration competitive marketplace elements or provides for incentives to apublic utility, the rate may contain any provision for subsequent notice or theabsence thereof which is supported by the public interest.

 

(c) Whenever there is filed with the commission by any publicutility any application or tariff proposing a new rate or rates, the commissionmay, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative, initiate aninvestigation, hearing, or both, concerning the lawfulness of such rate orrates. Pending its decision thereon, the commission may suspend such rate orrates, before they become effective but not for a longer initial period thansix (6) months beyond the time when such rate or rates would otherwise go intoeffect. If the commission shall thereafter find that a longer time will berequired, the commission may extend the period of suspension for an additionalperiod or periods not exceeding in the aggregate, three (3) months.

 

(d) The public utility may file an application requesting, andthe commission may order such suspended rate or rates or any portion thereof tobe put into effect at any time, in which event the commission may require abond which shall secure a refund to persons entitled thereto of the amount, ifany, finally determined to be excessive. The application and the bond in terms,amount and sureties shall be subject to the commission's approval.

 

(e) As ordered by the commission, the utility shall promptlyrefund to persons entitled thereto all amounts collected by it in excess of thefinal rates approved by the commission plus reasonable interest at a rate to bedetermined by the commission, and as ordered by the commission and upon suchtime and conditions as the commission shall specify, shall promptly pay allamounts not so refunded to the general fund of Wyoming.

 

(f) In any case involving a proposed change in rates, thecommission may permit the utility to make effective without suspension onlythat portion of the change which the commission may determine to be properunder the circumstances.

 

37-3-107. Rates for joint service by public utilities.

 

Whenjoint service is participated in by two or more public utilities the commissionafter hearing on complaint or on its own motion without complaint, mayascertain, determine, and fix for such services just and reasonable rates,which shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by such publicutilities.

 

37-3-108. Apportionment of joint rates.

 

Wheneverthe public utilities involved shall fail to agree among themselves upon theapportionment or division of any joint rate established by the commission orordered by the commission substituted for any joint rate found to violate anyprovision of this act, the commission may issue a supplemental order declaringthe apportionment or division of such joint rate.

 

37-3-109. Investigation of interstate rates; application for relief.

 

Thecommission may investigate all existing or proposed interstate rates, where anyact under such rate shall or may take place within this state. When such ratesare, in the opinion of the commission, unjust, unreasonable, unjustlydiscriminatory, unduly preferential or otherwise, or in any respect inviolation of the provisions of the act to regulate commerce or of any other actof congress or in conflict with the rules and orders of the interstate commercecommission or any other department of the federal government, the commissionmay apply for relief by petition or otherwise to the interstate commercecommission or to any other department of the federal government or to any courtof competent jurisdiction.

 

37-3-110. Schedules of rates to be filed and available to public;forms prescribed to conform to federal forms.

 

Withina time to be fixed by the commission, every public utility shall file with thecommission, and keep open to public inspection as this commission may direct,schedules showing all rates for every service rendered or to be rendered by it.The commission may determine and prescribe the form of the schedules requiredby this act to be filed with the commission and kept open to public inspectionand all changes therein, and change the form from time to time if it shall befound expedient; provided, however, that in respect to public utilities subjectto act of congress to regulate commerce and any amendments thereof, thecommission shall have such form or forms prescribed by it conform to anysimilar form prescribed by the interstate commerce commission.

 

37-3-111. Contracts to be filed; statements of free or reduced rateservice required.

 

Everypublic utility shall file with the commission copies of contracts, agreementsor arrangements to which it may be a party, as the commission may designate.Every public utility shall, whenever required by the commission, file with thecommission statements of passes, tickets, mileage books or franks, issued bythe public utility, free or at rates lower than those open to the public ingeneral, or of other authorization of service free or at reduced rates, thesestatements to cover the periods of time and classes of service, and to includeinformation connected with the issuance thereof, as the commission mayprescribe.

 

37-3-112. Service to be adequate and safe; regulations to be just andreasonable; unjust discrimination or undue preference as to service prohibited.

 

Theservice and facilities of every public utility shall be adequate and safe andevery service regulation shall be just and reasonable. The commission shallhave the authority to investigate, consider and determine standards foravailability or reliability of service that are objectively established by ruleconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards. It shall be unlawful forany public utility to make or permit to exist any unjust discrimination orundue preference with respect to its service, facilities or serviceregulations. This provision shall not be construed as prohibiting a publicutility from establishing classifications which distinguish among its variousservices, facilities or service regulations if the classifications are notunduly discriminatory among the customers in the same class of service.

 

37-3-113. Interchange and transfer of messages, service and otherfacilities.

 

 

(a) Every public utility shall afford allreasonable, proper and equal facilities for the prompt and efficientinterchange and transfer of passengers, property, cars loaded or empty,messages, service, or other facilities between the lines, plants or systemsowned, operated, controlled or leased by it, and the lines, plants or systemsof every other public utility, and shall make such interchange and transferpromptly without discrimination between shippers, passengers, carriers and allpersons either as to compensation charged, service and facilities rendered orafforded. Every public utility operating within the state shall receive andtransmit without delay or discrimination, any message, service, passenger orproperty or facility of or from every other similar public utility with whoseline or plant or system a physical connection may have been made. But this actshall not be construed as requiring any public utility to give the use of itstracks or terminal facilities to another public utility engaged in likebusiness.

 

(b) Nothing in this section contained shall be construed as inanywise limiting or modifying the duty of a public utility to establish jointrates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers, property,messages, service or other facilities over the lines, plants or systems owned,operated, controlled or leased by it and the lines, plants or systems of othersimilar public utility, nor as in any manner limiting or modifying the power ofthe commission to require the establishment of such joint rates, fares andcharges, such public utilities have failed to agree upon such use or the termsor conditions of compensation for the same, the commission may by order directthat such use may be permitted, and prescribe a reasonable compensation andreasonable terms and conditions for such joint use. Said commission however,shall not direct or sanction such joint use except in case of clear necessity.

 

37-3-114. Safety standards.

 

 

(a) All instrumentalities, equipment, plantand facilities furnished, employed or used by any public utility, shall in allrespects be adequate and efficient, and the construction, operation and usethereof, shall be such as shall prevent injury to property, and as shallpromote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employeesand the public, and to this end, the commission may make rules and regulationsgoverning the construction, maintenance and operation of telephone, telegraph,trolley, electric light and power lines hereafter built within this state, andshall by rule adopt as the standard of such construction, operation andmaintenance the provisions of the current edition of the National ElectricalSafety Code; provided that when electric light and power lines use Y-connectedcircuits with neutral conductors effectively grounded throughout their length,minimum vertical clearance of wires or neutral conductors over ground or railsshall be determined by the voltage between wires and ground, if such voltagedoes not exceed fifteen thousand (15,000) volts. Said commission shall alsohave the power to direct the manner by which all utilities shall cross publichighways and other utilities and by which public highways shall cross theutilities and to prescribe methods of approach and crossing that shall securesafety to the public; provided, however, that with respect to approaches andcrossings of overhead lines, the provisions of the current edition of theNational Electrical Safety Code above prescribed shall apply, except asprovided herein with respect to Y-connected circuits with neutral conductorseffectively grounded throughout their length where the voltage does not exceedfifteen thousand (15,000) volts. At every such crossing, in case the personsinterested do not themselves agree, it shall be the duty of the commission toapportion between the parties, in accordance with justice, the costs andexpenses of installing and maintaining such crossings. In case expense isapportioned to be paid by a public highway the portion so to be paid by suchhighway shall be paid by the city or town in case the crossing line is withinthe boundaries of a city or town, and by the county in which the crossing issituated in case the same is not within any city or town. Provided that allsuch equipment, plant, and facilities shall be maintained in such workingcondition that will provide a minimum of interference with radio and televisionreception to residents and highway users in the immediate area of suchequipment, plant, and facilities.

 

(b) This section shall not be construed as creating neitherprohibition nor obligation or duty of inspection or maintenance by an electricor telecommunications public utility for facilities or equipment not owned bythe public utility.

 

37-3-115. Rates; less expensive source of supply.

 

Inthe case of a utility furnishing natural gas, if the utility decreases its costof natural gas, not less than ninety percent (90%) of the decrease in the costshall be passed on to the consumer and in addition to other factors allowed bythe commission in setting rates the commission may allow the utility to add toits rate not more than ten percent (10%) of the difference between its previouscost for natural gas and its new cost for natural gas.

 

ARTICLE 2 - NATURAL GAS STORAGE LIMITS AND RATES

 

37-3-201. Limit on natural gas storage; sale of excess; rates; removalof gas for purposes of evading article prohibited.

 

 

(a) Except as otherwise provided insubsection (b) of this section, no natural gas utility shall include in itsrates any charge for any gas maintained in storage in excess of the greater ofthe amount of stored gas needed to create storage conditions capable ofestablishing delivery of two and seventy-five hundredths (2.75) times theaverage annual consumption of natural gas by the tariff customers of thatnatural gas utility for the immediately preceding three (3) calendar yearsexcept the commission may establish a lower limit on the amount of gas instorage upon which a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return or thecommission may establish a higher limit on the amount of gas in storage uponwhich a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return if doing so will reducerates to customers or prevent likely natural gas shortages or enable theutility to meet peaking requirements.

 

(b) Any natural gas held in storage in excess of the limitspecified in subsection (a) of this section shall be included in the gas soldto the utility's Wyoming tariff customers in a manner and at rates asdetermined by the commission. The commission may include in the gas to be soldto the tariff customers gas upon which no rate of return has been receivedprovided that the inclusion is in the public interest and is requested by theutility. To the extent excess gas in storage on which a rate of return has beenreceived is available, at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the gas sold tothe tariff customers shall be from that excess storage unless the utilitychooses to include a higher percentage. The utility shall be permitted to earna rate of return on the excess gas in storage until the gas is sold tocustomers as provided by this subsection.

 

(c) No natural gas may be removed from storage or from the ratebase for the purposes of evading the requirements of this article.

 

(d) No natural gas held in storage upon which the utility hasearned a rate of return shall be sold outside the Wyoming service territory ofthe utility except by order of the commission after public hearing.

 

(e) Any payment made pursuant to a take or pay contract for gasnot taken due to any provision of this act may not be included in any naturalgas tariff approved by the public service commission.

 

(f) For the purposes of this article the public service commissionmay treat utilities which share storage facilities and are subsidiariescontrolled by the same company as a single natural gas utility.

 

(g) No provision of this bill shall be implemented unless thepublic service commission determines that such implementation will not causeincreased rates for Wyoming consumers resulting from adverse federal income taxconsequences.

 

(h) No provision of this article shall be implemented unlessthe public service commission determines that the resulting tariff rates willbe lower and more in the public interest than the tariff rates which thecommission may put into effect through commission action on any pendingapplication before the commission addressing natural gas storage.

 

37-3-202. Commission duty to enforce.

 

 

(a) The public service commission shall:

 

(i) Review the quantities of gas stored by natural gasutilities and included in the rate base of those utilities; and

 

(ii) Bring those utilities into compliance with W.S. 37-3-201.

 

37-3-203. Appeals from commission orders; refunds if orders upheld;utility duties.

 

 

(a) If any natural gas utility contests orappeals any public service commission order pursuant to this article and theorder is suspended pending the prosecution of the appeal and the order isupheld in whole or in part:

 

(i) A refund if practical shall be paid to each customer whoreceived gas service from the original proposed effective date of the order;

 

(ii) The refund shall be equal to the difference between theprice of gas actually charged and the price that would have been charged underthe order;

 

(iii) The utility shall keep accurate, detailed records of whichcustomers are entitled to refunds; and

 

(iv) The refund shall be made no later than thirty (30) daysafter a final judgment upholding the public service commission order. Refundsshall be made pursuant to public service commission order.

 

37-3-204. Rates; sales of stored gas.

 

 

(a) When natural gas stored by a utility issold to a person other than a customer of the utility whose rates are set bytariffs on file with and approved by the public service commission:

 

(i) The commission shall order the utility to reduce its ratesto its tariff customers in a total amount equal to the difference between:

 

(A) The sales price of the gas or the utility's averagepurchase price of natural gas for the preceding year of the natural gas sold asof the date of sale, whichever the commission determines is in the publicinterest; and

 

(B) The inventory valuation of the natural gas sold.

 

(ii) This subsection only applies to natural gas stored by autility upon which the utility was previously allowed to earn a rate of return.

 

37-3-205. Prohibition against recovery of cost of stored gas.

 

Anatural gas utility shall not be permitted to recover from its customers anycost related to any natural gas in storage upon which the utility was notpermitted by the public service commission to earn a rate of return.

 

ARTICLE 3 - HIGH VOLTAGE LINE SAFETY

 

37-3-301. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and may be cited as the "Wyoming High Voltage PowerLines and Safety Restrictions Act."

 

37-3-302. Definitions.

 

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Authorized person" means:

 

(A) An employee of a public utility which produces, transmitsor delivers electricity;

 

(B) An employee of a public utility which provides and whosework relates to communication services or state, county or municipal agencieswhich have authorized circuit construction on or near the poles or structuresof a public utility;

 

(C) An employee of an industrial plant whose work relates tothe electrical system of the industrial plant;

 

(D) An employee of a cable television or communication servicescompany or an employee of a contractor of a cable television or communicationservices company if specifically authorized by the owner of the poles to makecable television or communication services attachments; or

 

(E) An employee or agent of state, county or municipal agencieswhich have or whose work relates to overhead electrical lines or circuitconstruction or conductors on poles or structures of any type.

 

(ii) "High voltage" means voltage in excess of sixhundred (600) volts measured between conductors or between a conductor and theground;

 

(iii) "Overhead line" means all bare or insulatedelectrical conductors installed above ground;

 

(iv) "Person" or "business entity" meansthose parties who contract to perform any function or activity upon any land,building, highway or other premises, excluding those parties providingemergency services including emergency rescue operations and fire protectionservices;

 

(v) "Public utility" means a public utility asdefined in W.S. 37-1-101(a)(vi) which owns or operates a high voltage overheadline;

 

(vi) "This act" means W.S. 37-3-301 through 37-3-306.

 

37-3-303. Activity near overhead line; safety restrictions.

 

 

(a) Unless danger against contact with highvoltage overhead lines has been effectively guarded against as provided by W.S.37-3-304 a person or business entity, individually or through an agent oremployee or as an agent or employee, shall not:

 

(i) Require any other person to perform any act if at any timeduring the performance of the act it is possible that the actor could move orbe moved closer to any high voltage overhead line or if it is possible that anypart of any tool or material used by the actor could be moved closer to anyhigh voltage overhead line during the performance of the act than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, six (6) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, six (6) feetplus four-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

(ii) Operate any mechanical equipment or hoisting equipment orany load of equipment, any part of which is capable of vertical, lateral orswinging motion closer to any high voltage overhead line than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, ten (10) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, ten (10) feet plusfour-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

37-3-304. Activity in close proximity to lines; clearancearrangements; procedure; payment; notice.

 

 

(a) If any person or business entity desiresto temporarily carry on any act in closer proximity to any high voltageoverhead line than permitted by this act, the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work shall promptly notify the appropriatepublic utility and shall ask the public utility for assistance. An agent oremployee of the public utility shall prepare and sign a memorandum stating thepublic utility received a request for assistance. The person or businessentity may perform the work only after developing satisfactory safetyarrangements, including coordination of work and construction schedules, withthe public utility. Arrangements may include placing temporary mechanicalbarriers to prevent contact between material, equipment or persons and the highvoltage overhead lines or temporary shut down and grounding or temporaryrelocation or raising of the high voltage overhead lines.

 

(b) Except where the public utility has installed lines withinten (10) feet of an existing fixture or structure the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work in the vicinity of the high voltageoverhead lines shall pay the public utility's actual expenses in providingsafety arrangements. The public utility is not required to begin the safetyarrangements until a written agreement for payment has been made.

 

(c) The public utility shall begin the safety arrangementsaccording to the agreement signed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of thissection.

 

37-3-305. Indemnification.

 

Ifa violation of this act results in physical or electrical contact with any highvoltage overhead line, the person or business entity violating this act is liableto the public utility for all damages to the facilities and all costs andexpenses, including damages to third parties, incurred by the public utility asa result of the contact.

 

37-3-306. Exemptions.

 

 

(a) This act shall not apply to:

 

(i) Construction, reconstruction, operation or maintenance byan authorized person of overhead electrical or communication circuits orconductors and their supporting structures or electrical generating,transmission or distribution systems or communication systems;

 

(ii) Any person lawfully occupying the land on which the highvoltage overhead line is located and engaging in the regular and ordinaryfunctions and activities of farming, ranching or other agricultural functionsand activities.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter3

CHAPTER 3 - Rates, Interchange of Services and Safety

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-3-101. Rates to be just, reasonable and uniform; exceptions.

 

Allrates shall be just and reasonable, and all unjust and unreasonable rates areprohibited. A rate shall not be considered unjust or unreasonable on the basisthat it is innovative in form or in substance, that it takes into considerationcompetitive marketplace elements or that it provides for incentives to a publicutility. Except as otherwise provided in W.S. 15-7-407, no public utility shallin any manner charge, demand, collect or receive from any person greater orless or different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered bythe public utility than is charged, demanded, collected or received by thepublic utility from any other person for a like and contemporaneous serviceunder similar circumstances and conditions. The commission may determine thatrates for the same service may vary depending on cost, the competitivemarketplace, the need for universally available and affordable service, theneed for contribution to the joint and common costs of the public utility,volume and other discounts, and other reasonable business practices. Nothingin this title shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate service to its current or pensioned employees and dependent family membersunder rates approved by the commission.

 

37-3-102. Only prescribed rates to be charged.

 

Nopublic utility shall directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever, or inanywise, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person a greater or lessor different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered by suchpublic utility than that prescribed in the schedules of such public utilitythen filed and published in the manner provided in this act, nor shall anyperson receive or accept any service from a public utility for a compensationgreater, less or in any way different from that prescribed in such schedules.

 

37-3-103. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-104. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-105. Free or reduced rates of transportation to certain classesof persons authorized.

 

Nothingin this act shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate of transportation of the person or property over its line to officers,attorneys, surgeons, directors or employees of such public utility or dependentmembers of their families, or to former employees of such public utility, ordependent members of their families where such employees are pensioned or havebecome disabled in the service of such public utility or are unable fromphysical qualifications to continue in such service; or to ministers ofreligion, traveling secretaries of Young Men's Christian Associations, inmatesof hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions, and personsexclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destituteand homeless persons and to such persons when transported by charitablesocieties or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in suchtransportation; to inmates of the national or state homes for disabledvolunteer soldiers, and of soldiers' and sailors' homes, including those aboutto enter and those returning home after discharge; to state adjutant of theGrand Army of the Republic, to state adjutant of the Spanish-American WarVeterans, and to the department commander, department chairman, child welfarecommittee, and the state adjutant of the American Legion, to the departmentcommander and department adjutant and rehabilitation officer of the DisabledAmerican Veterans of the World War; to the department commander and departmentadjutant and service officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the UnitedStates; to necessary caretakers of livestock, poultry, milk and fruit, and fishand spawn for use in stocking public streams; to employees on sleeping cars andexpress cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to railwaymail service employees, post office inspectors, custom inspectors, andimmigration inspectors; to instructors of the state militia, to sheriffs anddeputy sheriffs of counties in which, into which, or through which such publicutility is operated; to the state pure food commissioner, state game and fishcommissioner, members of the state game and fish commission and chief assistantstate game and fish commissioner and state veterinarian (no person so carriedshall be paid mileage by the state for such transportation); to chiefs ofpolice of cities in which, into which, or through which such public utility isoperated; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses attending any legalinvestigation in which the common carrier is interested, persons injured inwrecks and physicians and nurses attending such persons; nor prohibit theexchange of transportation of the persons or of property or of service by suchpublic utility with officers, attorneys, surgeons, directors, or employees ofother public utilities or their families, nor to prohibit any common carrierfrom carrying passengers or property free with the object of providing reliefin cases of general epidemic, pestilence or other calamitous visitation, or incase of blockade, wreck or interrupted service, nor to prevent a common carrierfrom furnishing a special train or a special car or cars and transportationthereon free of charge for the benefit of any state institution, nor to preventthe furnishing of a special train or car or cars and transportation thereonfree of charge for the purpose or with the object of demonstratingagricultural, manufacturing or business methods; and provided further, thatnothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the privilege of passes orfranks, or the exchange thereof with each other, for the officers, agents,employees, surgeons, physicians and attorneys and their families of telegraph,telephone and cable lines, and the officers, agents, employees, surgeons,physicians and attorneys and their families of other public utilities subjectto the provisions of this act; provided, further, that the term"employees" as used in this paragraph [section] shall includefurloughed, pensioned and superannuated employees, persons who have becomedisabled or infirm in the service of such public utilities, and the remains ofa person killed in the employment of a carrier and ex-employees traveling forthe purpose of entering the service of such public utilities; and the term"families" as used in this paragraph [section] shall include thefamilies of those persons named in this proviso, also the families of personskilled, and the widows, during widowhood, and minor children, during theminority, of persons who died while in the service of any such public utility.Any public utility violating this provision shall be deemed guilty of amisdemeanor, and for each offense, on conviction, shall pay to the state ofWyoming a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), nor more thantwo thousand dollars ($2,000.00), and any person, other than the personsexcepted in the provision, who uses any such free pass or free transportation,shall be subject to like penalty.

 

37-3-106. Temporary suspension of rates; burden of proof; notice ofrate changes; bonding; refunding of amounts collected in excess of final rates.

 

 

(a) At any hearing as provided in this actinvolving an increase in rates or charges sought by a public utility, theburden of proof to show that the increased rate or charge is just andreasonable shall be upon the utility.

 

(b) Unless the commission otherwise orders, no public utilityshall make any change in any rate which has been duly established except afterthirty (30) days notice to the commission, which notice shall plainly state thechanges proposed to be made in the rates then in force, and the time when thechanged rates will go into effect. The utility shall also give such notice ofthe proposed changes to other interested persons as the commission in itsdiscretion may direct. All proposed changes shall be shown by filing newtariffs which shall be kept open to public inspection. When the commissionestablishes any rate which is innovative in form or substance, takes intoconsideration competitive marketplace elements or provides for incentives to apublic utility, the rate may contain any provision for subsequent notice or theabsence thereof which is supported by the public interest.

 

(c) Whenever there is filed with the commission by any publicutility any application or tariff proposing a new rate or rates, the commissionmay, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative, initiate aninvestigation, hearing, or both, concerning the lawfulness of such rate orrates. Pending its decision thereon, the commission may suspend such rate orrates, before they become effective but not for a longer initial period thansix (6) months beyond the time when such rate or rates would otherwise go intoeffect. If the commission shall thereafter find that a longer time will berequired, the commission may extend the period of suspension for an additionalperiod or periods not exceeding in the aggregate, three (3) months.

 

(d) The public utility may file an application requesting, andthe commission may order such suspended rate or rates or any portion thereof tobe put into effect at any time, in which event the commission may require abond which shall secure a refund to persons entitled thereto of the amount, ifany, finally determined to be excessive. The application and the bond in terms,amount and sureties shall be subject to the commission's approval.

 

(e) As ordered by the commission, the utility shall promptlyrefund to persons entitled thereto all amounts collected by it in excess of thefinal rates approved by the commission plus reasonable interest at a rate to bedetermined by the commission, and as ordered by the commission and upon suchtime and conditions as the commission shall specify, shall promptly pay allamounts not so refunded to the general fund of Wyoming.

 

(f) In any case involving a proposed change in rates, thecommission may permit the utility to make effective without suspension onlythat portion of the change which the commission may determine to be properunder the circumstances.

 

37-3-107. Rates for joint service by public utilities.

 

Whenjoint service is participated in by two or more public utilities the commissionafter hearing on complaint or on its own motion without complaint, mayascertain, determine, and fix for such services just and reasonable rates,which shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by such publicutilities.

 

37-3-108. Apportionment of joint rates.

 

Wheneverthe public utilities involved shall fail to agree among themselves upon theapportionment or division of any joint rate established by the commission orordered by the commission substituted for any joint rate found to violate anyprovision of this act, the commission may issue a supplemental order declaringthe apportionment or division of such joint rate.

 

37-3-109. Investigation of interstate rates; application for relief.

 

Thecommission may investigate all existing or proposed interstate rates, where anyact under such rate shall or may take place within this state. When such ratesare, in the opinion of the commission, unjust, unreasonable, unjustlydiscriminatory, unduly preferential or otherwise, or in any respect inviolation of the provisions of the act to regulate commerce or of any other actof congress or in conflict with the rules and orders of the interstate commercecommission or any other department of the federal government, the commissionmay apply for relief by petition or otherwise to the interstate commercecommission or to any other department of the federal government or to any courtof competent jurisdiction.

 

37-3-110. Schedules of rates to be filed and available to public;forms prescribed to conform to federal forms.

 

Withina time to be fixed by the commission, every public utility shall file with thecommission, and keep open to public inspection as this commission may direct,schedules showing all rates for every service rendered or to be rendered by it.The commission may determine and prescribe the form of the schedules requiredby this act to be filed with the commission and kept open to public inspectionand all changes therein, and change the form from time to time if it shall befound expedient; provided, however, that in respect to public utilities subjectto act of congress to regulate commerce and any amendments thereof, thecommission shall have such form or forms prescribed by it conform to anysimilar form prescribed by the interstate commerce commission.

 

37-3-111. Contracts to be filed; statements of free or reduced rateservice required.

 

Everypublic utility shall file with the commission copies of contracts, agreementsor arrangements to which it may be a party, as the commission may designate.Every public utility shall, whenever required by the commission, file with thecommission statements of passes, tickets, mileage books or franks, issued bythe public utility, free or at rates lower than those open to the public ingeneral, or of other authorization of service free or at reduced rates, thesestatements to cover the periods of time and classes of service, and to includeinformation connected with the issuance thereof, as the commission mayprescribe.

 

37-3-112. Service to be adequate and safe; regulations to be just andreasonable; unjust discrimination or undue preference as to service prohibited.

 

Theservice and facilities of every public utility shall be adequate and safe andevery service regulation shall be just and reasonable. The commission shallhave the authority to investigate, consider and determine standards foravailability or reliability of service that are objectively established by ruleconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards. It shall be unlawful forany public utility to make or permit to exist any unjust discrimination orundue preference with respect to its service, facilities or serviceregulations. This provision shall not be construed as prohibiting a publicutility from establishing classifications which distinguish among its variousservices, facilities or service regulations if the classifications are notunduly discriminatory among the customers in the same class of service.

 

37-3-113. Interchange and transfer of messages, service and otherfacilities.

 

 

(a) Every public utility shall afford allreasonable, proper and equal facilities for the prompt and efficientinterchange and transfer of passengers, property, cars loaded or empty,messages, service, or other facilities between the lines, plants or systemsowned, operated, controlled or leased by it, and the lines, plants or systemsof every other public utility, and shall make such interchange and transferpromptly without discrimination between shippers, passengers, carriers and allpersons either as to compensation charged, service and facilities rendered orafforded. Every public utility operating within the state shall receive andtransmit without delay or discrimination, any message, service, passenger orproperty or facility of or from every other similar public utility with whoseline or plant or system a physical connection may have been made. But this actshall not be construed as requiring any public utility to give the use of itstracks or terminal facilities to another public utility engaged in likebusiness.

 

(b) Nothing in this section contained shall be construed as inanywise limiting or modifying the duty of a public utility to establish jointrates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers, property,messages, service or other facilities over the lines, plants or systems owned,operated, controlled or leased by it and the lines, plants or systems of othersimilar public utility, nor as in any manner limiting or modifying the power ofthe commission to require the establishment of such joint rates, fares andcharges, such public utilities have failed to agree upon such use or the termsor conditions of compensation for the same, the commission may by order directthat such use may be permitted, and prescribe a reasonable compensation andreasonable terms and conditions for such joint use. Said commission however,shall not direct or sanction such joint use except in case of clear necessity.

 

37-3-114. Safety standards.

 

 

(a) All instrumentalities, equipment, plantand facilities furnished, employed or used by any public utility, shall in allrespects be adequate and efficient, and the construction, operation and usethereof, shall be such as shall prevent injury to property, and as shallpromote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employeesand the public, and to this end, the commission may make rules and regulationsgoverning the construction, maintenance and operation of telephone, telegraph,trolley, electric light and power lines hereafter built within this state, andshall by rule adopt as the standard of such construction, operation andmaintenance the provisions of the current edition of the National ElectricalSafety Code; provided that when electric light and power lines use Y-connectedcircuits with neutral conductors effectively grounded throughout their length,minimum vertical clearance of wires or neutral conductors over ground or railsshall be determined by the voltage between wires and ground, if such voltagedoes not exceed fifteen thousand (15,000) volts. Said commission shall alsohave the power to direct the manner by which all utilities shall cross publichighways and other utilities and by which public highways shall cross theutilities and to prescribe methods of approach and crossing that shall securesafety to the public; provided, however, that with respect to approaches andcrossings of overhead lines, the provisions of the current edition of theNational Electrical Safety Code above prescribed shall apply, except asprovided herein with respect to Y-connected circuits with neutral conductorseffectively grounded throughout their length where the voltage does not exceedfifteen thousand (15,000) volts. At every such crossing, in case the personsinterested do not themselves agree, it shall be the duty of the commission toapportion between the parties, in accordance with justice, the costs andexpenses of installing and maintaining such crossings. In case expense isapportioned to be paid by a public highway the portion so to be paid by suchhighway shall be paid by the city or town in case the crossing line is withinthe boundaries of a city or town, and by the county in which the crossing issituated in case the same is not within any city or town. Provided that allsuch equipment, plant, and facilities shall be maintained in such workingcondition that will provide a minimum of interference with radio and televisionreception to residents and highway users in the immediate area of suchequipment, plant, and facilities.

 

(b) This section shall not be construed as creating neitherprohibition nor obligation or duty of inspection or maintenance by an electricor telecommunications public utility for facilities or equipment not owned bythe public utility.

 

37-3-115. Rates; less expensive source of supply.

 

Inthe case of a utility furnishing natural gas, if the utility decreases its costof natural gas, not less than ninety percent (90%) of the decrease in the costshall be passed on to the consumer and in addition to other factors allowed bythe commission in setting rates the commission may allow the utility to add toits rate not more than ten percent (10%) of the difference between its previouscost for natural gas and its new cost for natural gas.

 

ARTICLE 2 - NATURAL GAS STORAGE LIMITS AND RATES

 

37-3-201. Limit on natural gas storage; sale of excess; rates; removalof gas for purposes of evading article prohibited.

 

 

(a) Except as otherwise provided insubsection (b) of this section, no natural gas utility shall include in itsrates any charge for any gas maintained in storage in excess of the greater ofthe amount of stored gas needed to create storage conditions capable ofestablishing delivery of two and seventy-five hundredths (2.75) times theaverage annual consumption of natural gas by the tariff customers of thatnatural gas utility for the immediately preceding three (3) calendar yearsexcept the commission may establish a lower limit on the amount of gas instorage upon which a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return or thecommission may establish a higher limit on the amount of gas in storage uponwhich a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return if doing so will reducerates to customers or prevent likely natural gas shortages or enable theutility to meet peaking requirements.

 

(b) Any natural gas held in storage in excess of the limitspecified in subsection (a) of this section shall be included in the gas soldto the utility's Wyoming tariff customers in a manner and at rates asdetermined by the commission. The commission may include in the gas to be soldto the tariff customers gas upon which no rate of return has been receivedprovided that the inclusion is in the public interest and is requested by theutility. To the extent excess gas in storage on which a rate of return has beenreceived is available, at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the gas sold tothe tariff customers shall be from that excess storage unless the utilitychooses to include a higher percentage. The utility shall be permitted to earna rate of return on the excess gas in storage until the gas is sold tocustomers as provided by this subsection.

 

(c) No natural gas may be removed from storage or from the ratebase for the purposes of evading the requirements of this article.

 

(d) No natural gas held in storage upon which the utility hasearned a rate of return shall be sold outside the Wyoming service territory ofthe utility except by order of the commission after public hearing.

 

(e) Any payment made pursuant to a take or pay contract for gasnot taken due to any provision of this act may not be included in any naturalgas tariff approved by the public service commission.

 

(f) For the purposes of this article the public service commissionmay treat utilities which share storage facilities and are subsidiariescontrolled by the same company as a single natural gas utility.

 

(g) No provision of this bill shall be implemented unless thepublic service commission determines that such implementation will not causeincreased rates for Wyoming consumers resulting from adverse federal income taxconsequences.

 

(h) No provision of this article shall be implemented unlessthe public service commission determines that the resulting tariff rates willbe lower and more in the public interest than the tariff rates which thecommission may put into effect through commission action on any pendingapplication before the commission addressing natural gas storage.

 

37-3-202. Commission duty to enforce.

 

 

(a) The public service commission shall:

 

(i) Review the quantities of gas stored by natural gasutilities and included in the rate base of those utilities; and

 

(ii) Bring those utilities into compliance with W.S. 37-3-201.

 

37-3-203. Appeals from commission orders; refunds if orders upheld;utility duties.

 

 

(a) If any natural gas utility contests orappeals any public service commission order pursuant to this article and theorder is suspended pending the prosecution of the appeal and the order isupheld in whole or in part:

 

(i) A refund if practical shall be paid to each customer whoreceived gas service from the original proposed effective date of the order;

 

(ii) The refund shall be equal to the difference between theprice of gas actually charged and the price that would have been charged underthe order;

 

(iii) The utility shall keep accurate, detailed records of whichcustomers are entitled to refunds; and

 

(iv) The refund shall be made no later than thirty (30) daysafter a final judgment upholding the public service commission order. Refundsshall be made pursuant to public service commission order.

 

37-3-204. Rates; sales of stored gas.

 

 

(a) When natural gas stored by a utility issold to a person other than a customer of the utility whose rates are set bytariffs on file with and approved by the public service commission:

 

(i) The commission shall order the utility to reduce its ratesto its tariff customers in a total amount equal to the difference between:

 

(A) The sales price of the gas or the utility's averagepurchase price of natural gas for the preceding year of the natural gas sold asof the date of sale, whichever the commission determines is in the publicinterest; and

 

(B) The inventory valuation of the natural gas sold.

 

(ii) This subsection only applies to natural gas stored by autility upon which the utility was previously allowed to earn a rate of return.

 

37-3-205. Prohibition against recovery of cost of stored gas.

 

Anatural gas utility shall not be permitted to recover from its customers anycost related to any natural gas in storage upon which the utility was notpermitted by the public service commission to earn a rate of return.

 

ARTICLE 3 - HIGH VOLTAGE LINE SAFETY

 

37-3-301. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and may be cited as the "Wyoming High Voltage PowerLines and Safety Restrictions Act."

 

37-3-302. Definitions.

 

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Authorized person" means:

 

(A) An employee of a public utility which produces, transmitsor delivers electricity;

 

(B) An employee of a public utility which provides and whosework relates to communication services or state, county or municipal agencieswhich have authorized circuit construction on or near the poles or structuresof a public utility;

 

(C) An employee of an industrial plant whose work relates tothe electrical system of the industrial plant;

 

(D) An employee of a cable television or communication servicescompany or an employee of a contractor of a cable television or communicationservices company if specifically authorized by the owner of the poles to makecable television or communication services attachments; or

 

(E) An employee or agent of state, county or municipal agencieswhich have or whose work relates to overhead electrical lines or circuitconstruction or conductors on poles or structures of any type.

 

(ii) "High voltage" means voltage in excess of sixhundred (600) volts measured between conductors or between a conductor and theground;

 

(iii) "Overhead line" means all bare or insulatedelectrical conductors installed above ground;

 

(iv) "Person" or "business entity" meansthose parties who contract to perform any function or activity upon any land,building, highway or other premises, excluding those parties providingemergency services including emergency rescue operations and fire protectionservices;

 

(v) "Public utility" means a public utility asdefined in W.S. 37-1-101(a)(vi) which owns or operates a high voltage overheadline;

 

(vi) "This act" means W.S. 37-3-301 through 37-3-306.

 

37-3-303. Activity near overhead line; safety restrictions.

 

 

(a) Unless danger against contact with highvoltage overhead lines has been effectively guarded against as provided by W.S.37-3-304 a person or business entity, individually or through an agent oremployee or as an agent or employee, shall not:

 

(i) Require any other person to perform any act if at any timeduring the performance of the act it is possible that the actor could move orbe moved closer to any high voltage overhead line or if it is possible that anypart of any tool or material used by the actor could be moved closer to anyhigh voltage overhead line during the performance of the act than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, six (6) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, six (6) feetplus four-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

(ii) Operate any mechanical equipment or hoisting equipment orany load of equipment, any part of which is capable of vertical, lateral orswinging motion closer to any high voltage overhead line than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, ten (10) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, ten (10) feet plusfour-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

37-3-304. Activity in close proximity to lines; clearancearrangements; procedure; payment; notice.

 

 

(a) If any person or business entity desiresto temporarily carry on any act in closer proximity to any high voltageoverhead line than permitted by this act, the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work shall promptly notify the appropriatepublic utility and shall ask the public utility for assistance. An agent oremployee of the public utility shall prepare and sign a memorandum stating thepublic utility received a request for assistance. The person or businessentity may perform the work only after developing satisfactory safetyarrangements, including coordination of work and construction schedules, withthe public utility. Arrangements may include placing temporary mechanicalbarriers to prevent contact between material, equipment or persons and the highvoltage overhead lines or temporary shut down and grounding or temporaryrelocation or raising of the high voltage overhead lines.

 

(b) Except where the public utility has installed lines withinten (10) feet of an existing fixture or structure the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work in the vicinity of the high voltageoverhead lines shall pay the public utility's actual expenses in providingsafety arrangements. The public utility is not required to begin the safetyarrangements until a written agreement for payment has been made.

 

(c) The public utility shall begin the safety arrangementsaccording to the agreement signed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of thissection.

 

37-3-305. Indemnification.

 

Ifa violation of this act results in physical or electrical contact with any highvoltage overhead line, the person or business entity violating this act is liableto the public utility for all damages to the facilities and all costs andexpenses, including damages to third parties, incurred by the public utility asa result of the contact.

 

37-3-306. Exemptions.

 

 

(a) This act shall not apply to:

 

(i) Construction, reconstruction, operation or maintenance byan authorized person of overhead electrical or communication circuits orconductors and their supporting structures or electrical generating,transmission or distribution systems or communication systems;

 

(ii) Any person lawfully occupying the land on which the highvoltage overhead line is located and engaging in the regular and ordinaryfunctions and activities of farming, ranching or other agricultural functionsand activities.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter3

CHAPTER 3 - Rates, Interchange of Services and Safety

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-3-101. Rates to be just, reasonable and uniform; exceptions.

 

Allrates shall be just and reasonable, and all unjust and unreasonable rates areprohibited. A rate shall not be considered unjust or unreasonable on the basisthat it is innovative in form or in substance, that it takes into considerationcompetitive marketplace elements or that it provides for incentives to a publicutility. Except as otherwise provided in W.S. 15-7-407, no public utility shallin any manner charge, demand, collect or receive from any person greater orless or different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered bythe public utility than is charged, demanded, collected or received by thepublic utility from any other person for a like and contemporaneous serviceunder similar circumstances and conditions. The commission may determine thatrates for the same service may vary depending on cost, the competitivemarketplace, the need for universally available and affordable service, theneed for contribution to the joint and common costs of the public utility,volume and other discounts, and other reasonable business practices. Nothingin this title shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate service to its current or pensioned employees and dependent family membersunder rates approved by the commission.

 

37-3-102. Only prescribed rates to be charged.

 

Nopublic utility shall directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever, or inanywise, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person a greater or lessor different compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered by suchpublic utility than that prescribed in the schedules of such public utilitythen filed and published in the manner provided in this act, nor shall anyperson receive or accept any service from a public utility for a compensationgreater, less or in any way different from that prescribed in such schedules.

 

37-3-103. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-104. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 192, 3.

 

 

37-3-105. Free or reduced rates of transportation to certain classesof persons authorized.

 

Nothingin this act shall prohibit any public utility from furnishing free or reducedrate of transportation of the person or property over its line to officers,attorneys, surgeons, directors or employees of such public utility or dependentmembers of their families, or to former employees of such public utility, ordependent members of their families where such employees are pensioned or havebecome disabled in the service of such public utility or are unable fromphysical qualifications to continue in such service; or to ministers ofreligion, traveling secretaries of Young Men's Christian Associations, inmatesof hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions, and personsexclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destituteand homeless persons and to such persons when transported by charitablesocieties or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in suchtransportation; to inmates of the national or state homes for disabledvolunteer soldiers, and of soldiers' and sailors' homes, including those aboutto enter and those returning home after discharge; to state adjutant of theGrand Army of the Republic, to state adjutant of the Spanish-American WarVeterans, and to the department commander, department chairman, child welfarecommittee, and the state adjutant of the American Legion, to the departmentcommander and department adjutant and rehabilitation officer of the DisabledAmerican Veterans of the World War; to the department commander and departmentadjutant and service officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the UnitedStates; to necessary caretakers of livestock, poultry, milk and fruit, and fishand spawn for use in stocking public streams; to employees on sleeping cars andexpress cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to railwaymail service employees, post office inspectors, custom inspectors, andimmigration inspectors; to instructors of the state militia, to sheriffs anddeputy sheriffs of counties in which, into which, or through which such publicutility is operated; to the state pure food commissioner, state game and fishcommissioner, members of the state game and fish commission and chief assistantstate game and fish commissioner and state veterinarian (no person so carriedshall be paid mileage by the state for such transportation); to chiefs ofpolice of cities in which, into which, or through which such public utility isoperated; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses attending any legalinvestigation in which the common carrier is interested, persons injured inwrecks and physicians and nurses attending such persons; nor prohibit theexchange of transportation of the persons or of property or of service by suchpublic utility with officers, attorneys, surgeons, directors, or employees ofother public utilities or their families, nor to prohibit any common carrierfrom carrying passengers or property free with the object of providing reliefin cases of general epidemic, pestilence or other calamitous visitation, or incase of blockade, wreck or interrupted service, nor to prevent a common carrierfrom furnishing a special train or a special car or cars and transportationthereon free of charge for the benefit of any state institution, nor to preventthe furnishing of a special train or car or cars and transportation thereonfree of charge for the purpose or with the object of demonstratingagricultural, manufacturing or business methods; and provided further, thatnothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the privilege of passes orfranks, or the exchange thereof with each other, for the officers, agents,employees, surgeons, physicians and attorneys and their families of telegraph,telephone and cable lines, and the officers, agents, employees, surgeons,physicians and attorneys and their families of other public utilities subjectto the provisions of this act; provided, further, that the term"employees" as used in this paragraph [section] shall includefurloughed, pensioned and superannuated employees, persons who have becomedisabled or infirm in the service of such public utilities, and the remains ofa person killed in the employment of a carrier and ex-employees traveling forthe purpose of entering the service of such public utilities; and the term"families" as used in this paragraph [section] shall include thefamilies of those persons named in this proviso, also the families of personskilled, and the widows, during widowhood, and minor children, during theminority, of persons who died while in the service of any such public utility.Any public utility violating this provision shall be deemed guilty of amisdemeanor, and for each offense, on conviction, shall pay to the state ofWyoming a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), nor more thantwo thousand dollars ($2,000.00), and any person, other than the personsexcepted in the provision, who uses any such free pass or free transportation,shall be subject to like penalty.

 

37-3-106. Temporary suspension of rates; burden of proof; notice ofrate changes; bonding; refunding of amounts collected in excess of final rates.

 

 

(a) At any hearing as provided in this actinvolving an increase in rates or charges sought by a public utility, theburden of proof to show that the increased rate or charge is just andreasonable shall be upon the utility.

 

(b) Unless the commission otherwise orders, no public utilityshall make any change in any rate which has been duly established except afterthirty (30) days notice to the commission, which notice shall plainly state thechanges proposed to be made in the rates then in force, and the time when thechanged rates will go into effect. The utility shall also give such notice ofthe proposed changes to other interested persons as the commission in itsdiscretion may direct. All proposed changes shall be shown by filing newtariffs which shall be kept open to public inspection. When the commissionestablishes any rate which is innovative in form or substance, takes intoconsideration competitive marketplace elements or provides for incentives to apublic utility, the rate may contain any provision for subsequent notice or theabsence thereof which is supported by the public interest.

 

(c) Whenever there is filed with the commission by any publicutility any application or tariff proposing a new rate or rates, the commissionmay, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative, initiate aninvestigation, hearing, or both, concerning the lawfulness of such rate orrates. Pending its decision thereon, the commission may suspend such rate orrates, before they become effective but not for a longer initial period thansix (6) months beyond the time when such rate or rates would otherwise go intoeffect. If the commission shall thereafter find that a longer time will berequired, the commission may extend the period of suspension for an additionalperiod or periods not exceeding in the aggregate, three (3) months.

 

(d) The public utility may file an application requesting, andthe commission may order such suspended rate or rates or any portion thereof tobe put into effect at any time, in which event the commission may require abond which shall secure a refund to persons entitled thereto of the amount, ifany, finally determined to be excessive. The application and the bond in terms,amount and sureties shall be subject to the commission's approval.

 

(e) As ordered by the commission, the utility shall promptlyrefund to persons entitled thereto all amounts collected by it in excess of thefinal rates approved by the commission plus reasonable interest at a rate to bedetermined by the commission, and as ordered by the commission and upon suchtime and conditions as the commission shall specify, shall promptly pay allamounts not so refunded to the general fund of Wyoming.

 

(f) In any case involving a proposed change in rates, thecommission may permit the utility to make effective without suspension onlythat portion of the change which the commission may determine to be properunder the circumstances.

 

37-3-107. Rates for joint service by public utilities.

 

Whenjoint service is participated in by two or more public utilities the commissionafter hearing on complaint or on its own motion without complaint, mayascertain, determine, and fix for such services just and reasonable rates,which shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by such publicutilities.

 

37-3-108. Apportionment of joint rates.

 

Wheneverthe public utilities involved shall fail to agree among themselves upon theapportionment or division of any joint rate established by the commission orordered by the commission substituted for any joint rate found to violate anyprovision of this act, the commission may issue a supplemental order declaringthe apportionment or division of such joint rate.

 

37-3-109. Investigation of interstate rates; application for relief.

 

Thecommission may investigate all existing or proposed interstate rates, where anyact under such rate shall or may take place within this state. When such ratesare, in the opinion of the commission, unjust, unreasonable, unjustlydiscriminatory, unduly preferential or otherwise, or in any respect inviolation of the provisions of the act to regulate commerce or of any other actof congress or in conflict with the rules and orders of the interstate commercecommission or any other department of the federal government, the commissionmay apply for relief by petition or otherwise to the interstate commercecommission or to any other department of the federal government or to any courtof competent jurisdiction.

 

37-3-110. Schedules of rates to be filed and available to public;forms prescribed to conform to federal forms.

 

Withina time to be fixed by the commission, every public utility shall file with thecommission, and keep open to public inspection as this commission may direct,schedules showing all rates for every service rendered or to be rendered by it.The commission may determine and prescribe the form of the schedules requiredby this act to be filed with the commission and kept open to public inspectionand all changes therein, and change the form from time to time if it shall befound expedient; provided, however, that in respect to public utilities subjectto act of congress to regulate commerce and any amendments thereof, thecommission shall have such form or forms prescribed by it conform to anysimilar form prescribed by the interstate commerce commission.

 

37-3-111. Contracts to be filed; statements of free or reduced rateservice required.

 

Everypublic utility shall file with the commission copies of contracts, agreementsor arrangements to which it may be a party, as the commission may designate.Every public utility shall, whenever required by the commission, file with thecommission statements of passes, tickets, mileage books or franks, issued bythe public utility, free or at rates lower than those open to the public ingeneral, or of other authorization of service free or at reduced rates, thesestatements to cover the periods of time and classes of service, and to includeinformation connected with the issuance thereof, as the commission mayprescribe.

 

37-3-112. Service to be adequate and safe; regulations to be just andreasonable; unjust discrimination or undue preference as to service prohibited.

 

Theservice and facilities of every public utility shall be adequate and safe andevery service regulation shall be just and reasonable. The commission shallhave the authority to investigate, consider and determine standards foravailability or reliability of service that are objectively established by ruleconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards. It shall be unlawful forany public utility to make or permit to exist any unjust discrimination orundue preference with respect to its service, facilities or serviceregulations. This provision shall not be construed as prohibiting a publicutility from establishing classifications which distinguish among its variousservices, facilities or service regulations if the classifications are notunduly discriminatory among the customers in the same class of service.

 

37-3-113. Interchange and transfer of messages, service and otherfacilities.

 

 

(a) Every public utility shall afford allreasonable, proper and equal facilities for the prompt and efficientinterchange and transfer of passengers, property, cars loaded or empty,messages, service, or other facilities between the lines, plants or systemsowned, operated, controlled or leased by it, and the lines, plants or systemsof every other public utility, and shall make such interchange and transferpromptly without discrimination between shippers, passengers, carriers and allpersons either as to compensation charged, service and facilities rendered orafforded. Every public utility operating within the state shall receive andtransmit without delay or discrimination, any message, service, passenger orproperty or facility of or from every other similar public utility with whoseline or plant or system a physical connection may have been made. But this actshall not be construed as requiring any public utility to give the use of itstracks or terminal facilities to another public utility engaged in likebusiness.

 

(b) Nothing in this section contained shall be construed as inanywise limiting or modifying the duty of a public utility to establish jointrates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers, property,messages, service or other facilities over the lines, plants or systems owned,operated, controlled or leased by it and the lines, plants or systems of othersimilar public utility, nor as in any manner limiting or modifying the power ofthe commission to require the establishment of such joint rates, fares andcharges, such public utilities have failed to agree upon such use or the termsor conditions of compensation for the same, the commission may by order directthat such use may be permitted, and prescribe a reasonable compensation andreasonable terms and conditions for such joint use. Said commission however,shall not direct or sanction such joint use except in case of clear necessity.

 

37-3-114. Safety standards.

 

 

(a) All instrumentalities, equipment, plantand facilities furnished, employed or used by any public utility, shall in allrespects be adequate and efficient, and the construction, operation and usethereof, shall be such as shall prevent injury to property, and as shallpromote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employeesand the public, and to this end, the commission may make rules and regulationsgoverning the construction, maintenance and operation of telephone, telegraph,trolley, electric light and power lines hereafter built within this state, andshall by rule adopt as the standard of such construction, operation andmaintenance the provisions of the current edition of the National ElectricalSafety Code; provided that when electric light and power lines use Y-connectedcircuits with neutral conductors effectively grounded throughout their length,minimum vertical clearance of wires or neutral conductors over ground or railsshall be determined by the voltage between wires and ground, if such voltagedoes not exceed fifteen thousand (15,000) volts. Said commission shall alsohave the power to direct the manner by which all utilities shall cross publichighways and other utilities and by which public highways shall cross theutilities and to prescribe methods of approach and crossing that shall securesafety to the public; provided, however, that with respect to approaches andcrossings of overhead lines, the provisions of the current edition of theNational Electrical Safety Code above prescribed shall apply, except asprovided herein with respect to Y-connected circuits with neutral conductorseffectively grounded throughout their length where the voltage does not exceedfifteen thousand (15,000) volts. At every such crossing, in case the personsinterested do not themselves agree, it shall be the duty of the commission toapportion between the parties, in accordance with justice, the costs andexpenses of installing and maintaining such crossings. In case expense isapportioned to be paid by a public highway the portion so to be paid by suchhighway shall be paid by the city or town in case the crossing line is withinthe boundaries of a city or town, and by the county in which the crossing issituated in case the same is not within any city or town. Provided that allsuch equipment, plant, and facilities shall be maintained in such workingcondition that will provide a minimum of interference with radio and televisionreception to residents and highway users in the immediate area of suchequipment, plant, and facilities.

 

(b) This section shall not be construed as creating neitherprohibition nor obligation or duty of inspection or maintenance by an electricor telecommunications public utility for facilities or equipment not owned bythe public utility.

 

37-3-115. Rates; less expensive source of supply.

 

Inthe case of a utility furnishing natural gas, if the utility decreases its costof natural gas, not less than ninety percent (90%) of the decrease in the costshall be passed on to the consumer and in addition to other factors allowed bythe commission in setting rates the commission may allow the utility to add toits rate not more than ten percent (10%) of the difference between its previouscost for natural gas and its new cost for natural gas.

 

ARTICLE 2 - NATURAL GAS STORAGE LIMITS AND RATES

 

37-3-201. Limit on natural gas storage; sale of excess; rates; removalof gas for purposes of evading article prohibited.

 

 

(a) Except as otherwise provided insubsection (b) of this section, no natural gas utility shall include in itsrates any charge for any gas maintained in storage in excess of the greater ofthe amount of stored gas needed to create storage conditions capable ofestablishing delivery of two and seventy-five hundredths (2.75) times theaverage annual consumption of natural gas by the tariff customers of thatnatural gas utility for the immediately preceding three (3) calendar yearsexcept the commission may establish a lower limit on the amount of gas instorage upon which a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return or thecommission may establish a higher limit on the amount of gas in storage uponwhich a natural gas utility can earn a rate of return if doing so will reducerates to customers or prevent likely natural gas shortages or enable theutility to meet peaking requirements.

 

(b) Any natural gas held in storage in excess of the limitspecified in subsection (a) of this section shall be included in the gas soldto the utility's Wyoming tariff customers in a manner and at rates asdetermined by the commission. The commission may include in the gas to be soldto the tariff customers gas upon which no rate of return has been receivedprovided that the inclusion is in the public interest and is requested by theutility. To the extent excess gas in storage on which a rate of return has beenreceived is available, at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the gas sold tothe tariff customers shall be from that excess storage unless the utilitychooses to include a higher percentage. The utility shall be permitted to earna rate of return on the excess gas in storage until the gas is sold tocustomers as provided by this subsection.

 

(c) No natural gas may be removed from storage or from the ratebase for the purposes of evading the requirements of this article.

 

(d) No natural gas held in storage upon which the utility hasearned a rate of return shall be sold outside the Wyoming service territory ofthe utility except by order of the commission after public hearing.

 

(e) Any payment made pursuant to a take or pay contract for gasnot taken due to any provision of this act may not be included in any naturalgas tariff approved by the public service commission.

 

(f) For the purposes of this article the public service commissionmay treat utilities which share storage facilities and are subsidiariescontrolled by the same company as a single natural gas utility.

 

(g) No provision of this bill shall be implemented unless thepublic service commission determines that such implementation will not causeincreased rates for Wyoming consumers resulting from adverse federal income taxconsequences.

 

(h) No provision of this article shall be implemented unlessthe public service commission determines that the resulting tariff rates willbe lower and more in the public interest than the tariff rates which thecommission may put into effect through commission action on any pendingapplication before the commission addressing natural gas storage.

 

37-3-202. Commission duty to enforce.

 

 

(a) The public service commission shall:

 

(i) Review the quantities of gas stored by natural gasutilities and included in the rate base of those utilities; and

 

(ii) Bring those utilities into compliance with W.S. 37-3-201.

 

37-3-203. Appeals from commission orders; refunds if orders upheld;utility duties.

 

 

(a) If any natural gas utility contests orappeals any public service commission order pursuant to this article and theorder is suspended pending the prosecution of the appeal and the order isupheld in whole or in part:

 

(i) A refund if practical shall be paid to each customer whoreceived gas service from the original proposed effective date of the order;

 

(ii) The refund shall be equal to the difference between theprice of gas actually charged and the price that would have been charged underthe order;

 

(iii) The utility shall keep accurate, detailed records of whichcustomers are entitled to refunds; and

 

(iv) The refund shall be made no later than thirty (30) daysafter a final judgment upholding the public service commission order. Refundsshall be made pursuant to public service commission order.

 

37-3-204. Rates; sales of stored gas.

 

 

(a) When natural gas stored by a utility issold to a person other than a customer of the utility whose rates are set bytariffs on file with and approved by the public service commission:

 

(i) The commission shall order the utility to reduce its ratesto its tariff customers in a total amount equal to the difference between:

 

(A) The sales price of the gas or the utility's averagepurchase price of natural gas for the preceding year of the natural gas sold asof the date of sale, whichever the commission determines is in the publicinterest; and

 

(B) The inventory valuation of the natural gas sold.

 

(ii) This subsection only applies to natural gas stored by autility upon which the utility was previously allowed to earn a rate of return.

 

37-3-205. Prohibition against recovery of cost of stored gas.

 

Anatural gas utility shall not be permitted to recover from its customers anycost related to any natural gas in storage upon which the utility was notpermitted by the public service commission to earn a rate of return.

 

ARTICLE 3 - HIGH VOLTAGE LINE SAFETY

 

37-3-301. Short title.

 

Thisact shall be known and may be cited as the "Wyoming High Voltage PowerLines and Safety Restrictions Act."

 

37-3-302. Definitions.

 

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Authorized person" means:

 

(A) An employee of a public utility which produces, transmitsor delivers electricity;

 

(B) An employee of a public utility which provides and whosework relates to communication services or state, county or municipal agencieswhich have authorized circuit construction on or near the poles or structuresof a public utility;

 

(C) An employee of an industrial plant whose work relates tothe electrical system of the industrial plant;

 

(D) An employee of a cable television or communication servicescompany or an employee of a contractor of a cable television or communicationservices company if specifically authorized by the owner of the poles to makecable television or communication services attachments; or

 

(E) An employee or agent of state, county or municipal agencieswhich have or whose work relates to overhead electrical lines or circuitconstruction or conductors on poles or structures of any type.

 

(ii) "High voltage" means voltage in excess of sixhundred (600) volts measured between conductors or between a conductor and theground;

 

(iii) "Overhead line" means all bare or insulatedelectrical conductors installed above ground;

 

(iv) "Person" or "business entity" meansthose parties who contract to perform any function or activity upon any land,building, highway or other premises, excluding those parties providingemergency services including emergency rescue operations and fire protectionservices;

 

(v) "Public utility" means a public utility asdefined in W.S. 37-1-101(a)(vi) which owns or operates a high voltage overheadline;

 

(vi) "This act" means W.S. 37-3-301 through 37-3-306.

 

37-3-303. Activity near overhead line; safety restrictions.

 

 

(a) Unless danger against contact with highvoltage overhead lines has been effectively guarded against as provided by W.S.37-3-304 a person or business entity, individually or through an agent oremployee or as an agent or employee, shall not:

 

(i) Require any other person to perform any act if at any timeduring the performance of the act it is possible that the actor could move orbe moved closer to any high voltage overhead line or if it is possible that anypart of any tool or material used by the actor could be moved closer to anyhigh voltage overhead line during the performance of the act than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, six (6) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, six (6) feetplus four-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

(ii) Operate any mechanical equipment or hoisting equipment orany load of equipment, any part of which is capable of vertical, lateral orswinging motion closer to any high voltage overhead line than the followingclearances:

 

(A) For lines rated fifty (50) kilovolts or less, ten (10) feetof clearance;

 

(B) For lines rated over fifty (50) kilovolts, ten (10) feet plusfour-tenths (.4) of an inch for each kilovolt over fifty (50) kilovolts.

 

37-3-304. Activity in close proximity to lines; clearancearrangements; procedure; payment; notice.

 

 

(a) If any person or business entity desiresto temporarily carry on any act in closer proximity to any high voltageoverhead line than permitted by this act, the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work shall promptly notify the appropriatepublic utility and shall ask the public utility for assistance. An agent oremployee of the public utility shall prepare and sign a memorandum stating thepublic utility received a request for assistance. The person or businessentity may perform the work only after developing satisfactory safetyarrangements, including coordination of work and construction schedules, withthe public utility. Arrangements may include placing temporary mechanicalbarriers to prevent contact between material, equipment or persons and the highvoltage overhead lines or temporary shut down and grounding or temporaryrelocation or raising of the high voltage overhead lines.

 

(b) Except where the public utility has installed lines withinten (10) feet of an existing fixture or structure the person or business entityresponsible for performing the work in the vicinity of the high voltageoverhead lines shall pay the public utility's actual expenses in providingsafety arrangements. The public utility is not required to begin the safetyarrangements until a written agreement for payment has been made.

 

(c) The public utility shall begin the safety arrangementsaccording to the agreement signed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of thissection.

 

37-3-305. Indemnification.

 

Ifa violation of this act results in physical or electrical contact with any highvoltage overhead line, the person or business entity violating this act is liableto the public utility for all damages to the facilities and all costs andexpenses, including damages to third parties, incurred by the public utility asa result of the contact.

 

37-3-306. Exemptions.

 

 

(a) This act shall not apply to:

 

(i) Construction, reconstruction, operation or maintenance byan authorized person of overhead electrical or communication circuits orconductors and their supporting structures or electrical generating,transmission or distribution systems or communication systems;

 

(ii) Any person lawfully occupying the land on which the highvoltage overhead line is located and engaging in the regular and ordinaryfunctions and activities of farming, ranching or other agricultural functionsand activities.

 

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