Start this process a day or two before the deadline (4:30pm on August 30, 2019 in the case of responses to the PUC’s request for pipeline safety comments). If you are filing electronically, you will be opening a new account, and although the filing happens immediately once it is completed, the process of opening the new account and filing the comment is a bit tricky.
If you are filing by postal mail, it’s pretty straightforward. Just mail your comment to:
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Commonwealth Keystone Building
2nd Floor, Room-N201
Harrisburg, PA 1712
- Whether you file on paper or electronically, start by writing your comment in its final form. (You won’t be able to revise it, once it is submitted.) If you need ideas for what to say, check out the recent blog post on that topic. Important: be sure to mention the docket number. If you are responding to the PUC’s request for comments relating to pipeline safety, the docket number is L-2019-3010267.
- The rest of this procedure applies to comments filed online. First, save your comment document as a PDF. (The PUC accepts ONLY PDF files.) In Microsoft applications, the process for creating a PDF will usually be either File à Save as… or File à Publish, then Select PDF as the file type.
- Go to the PUC “Welcome to e-Filing” page at https://www.puc.state.pa.us/efiling/default.aspx Don’t be put off by the prominent message “NOTICE: THIS FORM IS USED FOR TESTING PURPOSES ONLY.” It has been there for at least two years and does not actually mean anything.
- Optional: If you wish, click on the link called “Quick e-Filing User Guide” which opens a PDF document describing the e-filing process and its options in more detail than I am doing here.
- Click on the “individual account” link in the middle of the page.
- Now, you will fill out a form with name, address, user name, and password. The drop-down box at the top of the form should be set to “Individual”. The user name field seems to only accept alpha-numerics (no punctuation or special characters). The form asks for “Company Name” but it is not a required field so you can leave it blank. “Title” and “County” can also be left blank. Be sure to provide a valid email address, since you will need that to verify your account.
- Click on “Create Account”. If any field is invalid, you will have to go back and correct it before the software lets you proceed.
- Once you have created an account, you will receive an email message at the account you specified. (In my experience, the email only took a minute or two to arrive.) It will have the subject line “Validate your new PUC eFiling Account” and the sender will be eFiling@pa.gov. There will be a link for you to click called “Verify your eFiling account”. Once you click on that, your file will be available for you to log in.
- Now, you can go back to the “Welcome to e-Filing” page and click on the “Login to eFiling” link at the top of the page. Use your new user name and password to log in.
- The “New Filing” page will open. In the first drop-down, select “Existing Case”. A new field will open, where you can enter the Docket Number (L-2019-3010267 for pipeline safety comments). You can also enter a case description. It’s optional, but it’s worth entering “Comment regarding pipeline safety” or something similar, so they can identify it if it somehow ends up in the wrong place. Click “Continue”.
- The “Upload Files” page will open. In the “Document Type” drop-down, choose “Comments”. Click on “Choose File” and browse for your comment file. Select it, and click on “Attach File”. Click “Continue”.
- The “eFiling Summary” page will open. Check that your file appears on the “Uploaded Files” list. Click on “Submit eFiling” to complete the process.
- A page with the heading “eFiling Successfully Transmitted” will open. Print this page for your records, and make a note of the eFiling Confirmation Number.