Arizona Supreme Court Oks Wastewater Districts Consolidation

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld utility regulators' decision to allow consolidation of several communities into a single wastewater service district with rate increases or decreases in different parts of the new district to make them uniform.

The justices' ruling Friday said rates approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission for the consolidated district don't violate a state constitutional provision barring discrimination in rates paid by customers and locations in similar circumstances.

The case involved districts in Maricopa and Mohave counties that EPCOR Water Arizona Inc. consolidated into one district.

The Sun City Home Owners Association and a state consumer advocacy agency had intervened in the regulatory case, opposing full consolidation and pushing to keep separate rates for the service areas.

The Sun City group appealed the commission's decision to the state Court of Appeals. It ruled for the commission and said the commission properly considered the case and that the approved rates weren't discriminatory.

The Supreme Court agreed but overturned with the lower court's finding that the commission's acts should be presumed to be constitutional.