EPCOR reaches agreement with Johnson Utilities to purchase embattled Arizona company; ‘welcome news,’ says Rose Law Group Co-founder Court Rich

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents landowners and homebuilders working with the ACC to find a utility solution in the Johnson Utilities service area.) 

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

EPCOR USA has reached an agreement to buy the embattled Johnson Utilities water and wastewater company, perhaps best known for its history of sewer overflows and water issues for tens of thousands of customers in the far East Valley.

EPCOR, which owns smaller water companies around the state, was installed as the management company despite the protests of the utility in 2018, when state regulators had enough with Johnson’s history of service issues.

The two companies now say they have agreed on a sale, though the price is undisclosed, and are asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to bless the transaction.

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“This will be welcome news to anyone who has had to deal with Johnson Utilities over the last 20 years or so. However, no matter who owns the utility, there are still some important issues to tackle very quickly.

Primarily among them is how to get sewer capacity so that landowners near the Section 11 wastewater treatment plan, who have been unable to use their land for two years, will finally be able to develop their property.

Landowners and builders are just going to want to know that this purchase is not going to slow down the process of righting the sinking ship of a utility. The transaction will have to reviewed and approved by the ACC and I imagine they will be anxious to move on from the never-ending confrontations with the current owner and will be thrilled to approve the sale to a competent utility operator.”

Court Rich, Rose Law Group Co-Founder
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