NYS Public Service Commission to Consider Action Against Hudson Valley Water Company as Urged by County Executive Metzger

Posted February 12, 2024


ALBANY, NY and KINGSTON, NY - The New York State Public Service Commission will consider action against the Hudson Valley Water Company (HVWC) as urged by County Executive Metzger and local elected officials at the Commission’s February 15 meeting, according to a preliminary agenda released by the Commission on Friday. County Executive Metzger made the case in January that HVWC customers have faced long service interruptions and poor communication from the company, most recently in Boiceville, when residents were left without water service for nearly a month.


In response to a letter penned by County Executive Metzger and signed by local elected officials in January calling for immediate action to install a new owner and operator of the Hudson Valley Water Company, the Commission earlier responded favorably by signaling that the Department of Public Service is “actively investigating” HVWC, and is “urgently considering short-term actions to ensure customers are provided with safe drinking water” while the Department and Commission evaluate long-term solutions, including replacing the owner and operator of the HVWC. 


“I am pleased to see that the Public Service Commission intends to immediately address our request to take action against the Hudson Valley Water Company,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “The HVWC’s chronic failures are unacceptable, and their failure to follow the improvement plan set out for them by the Commission shows more drastic action is necessary. As I said earlier this week in my State of the County Address, water is life, and our residents deserve service they can depend on.”


Hudson Valley Water Company, Inc., operates five pumping and distribution systems throughout Ulster County, including in Mount Marion, High Falls, Pine Lane-Hurley, West Hurley, and Boiceville. After a system failure began on December 16, the Boiceville system was left without drinking water service for nearly a month. This extended outage is the latest in a long record of outages, service interruptions, and poor customer service, and demonstrates the company’s inability to follow its PSC-approved Standard Operating Procedures and Emergency Plan. 


The company’s failures have repeatedly resulted in officials having to step in over the years to ensure residents were properly notified of issues, including outages, boil water notices, service interruptions, and the provision of potable water during a system failure. 


These issues were the basis of customer complaints about Hurley and Mount Marion systems, which prompted a Department of Public Service Investigation in 2019-2020. In June 2022, then-County Executive Pat Ryan, together with Senator Michelle Hinchey and then-Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, held a public hearing on  HVWC’s request for a 20.6% rate increase, drawing residents from all five systems to demand service improvements. The company was granted just a 2.8% increase, due in good part to numerous complaints by residents and officials, and the company’s failure to comply with commission orders.





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