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New law in effect July 1, 2012 affecting how you establish service

Rules & Regulations

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE FURNISHING OF WATER SERVICE

ADOPTED May 18, 1995

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. FOREWORD
II. DEFINITIONS
III. APPLICATION FOR SERVICE
IV. SERVICE CONNECTION
V. BILLING AND PAYMENT
VI. MAINTENANCE OF SERVICE CONNECTION
VII. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE
VIII. FIRE HYDRANTS
IX. EXTENSION OF MAINS
X. GENERAL

I. FOREWORD

These Rules and Regulations are the terms and conditions under which water is supplied to retail customers by the Fairfax County Water Authority and are on file at the Authority's General Offices. These Rules and Regulations are subject to change by the Authority in the manner prescribed by law.

II. DEFINITIONS

A. Applicant

"Applicant" shall be any individual, group of individuals, or any other legal entity requesting service from the Authority.

B. Authority

"Authority" shall mean the Fairfax County Water Authority.

C. Builder

"Builder" shall mean the party responsible for a specific parcel and its Service Connection(s) between the time an Applicant applies for service and a Customer begins use of that service.

D. Customer

"Customer" shall mean the party purchasing water from the Authority.

E. Schedule of Rates

"Schedule of Rates" shall mean the Fairfax County Water Authority's legally adopted Schedule of Rates, Fees and Charges.

F. Service Connection

1. When a "Service Connection" is tapped directly into a water main and the meter is installed at or near the curb line or property line, a "Service Connection" shall consist of the tap in the water main, the pipe extending from the main in the street to the outlet side of the meter setting, the meter box with lid, and the water meter.

2. When a "Service Connection" is tapped directly into a water main and the meter is installed at a location other than at or near the curb line, a "Service Connection" shall consist of the tap in the water main, the pipe extending from the main in the street to the outlet side of the curb stop, the meter setting, the water meter, and the remote register, wherever they may be located.

3. When a "Service Connection" is tapped directly into a private fire line, the water meter must be located inside the building or structure and a curb stop must be installed outside the building in the service lateral between the fire line and the water meter. In this case, the "Service Connection" shall consist of the water meter and the remote register.

III.     APPLICATION FOR SERVICE

A. Site Plan Approval

Unless otherwise specified by the Authority, each Applicant for water service must submit a site plan for review and approval by the Authority prior to any connection being made to the water system.

B. Application Approval

The Authority will install or authorize the installation of a Service Connection upon receipt of an application for water service on forms provided by the Authority, payment of all applicable charges as specified in the Schedule of Rates, and field verification of the existence of a water main adequate to provide the requested service. Acceptance of an application for water service and all applicable charges, does not constitute a guarantee by the Authority to provide the requested service.

C. Easements

Prior to the installation of any Service Connection, the owner or owners of the property to which service is to be provided shall grant the Authority any easements for water mains that in the opinion of the Authority are necessary to provide sufficient service to the property, including any looped connection, either at the time that the service is installed or thereafter.

D. Deferral of Availability Charge Payment

Applicants requiring more than one Service Connection for a project may elect to prepay the Service Connection Charge on all lots and defer payment of the Availability Charge until such time as a meter is required for each individual connection, provided the meters required are less than 3 inches. In such cases, the Authority will not install the water meter until such time as the Availability Charge has been paid for the Service Connection for which the meter is required.

E. Fees Paid to Predecessor Company

In the event a Service Connection exists to a specific property and neither the Authority nor the property owner has any record thereof, the possibility exists that connection fees were paid to a predecessor company and the record of payment failed to be transferred in the acquisition of said company. Accordingly, the following fees will apply:

1. The Availability Charge will be charged at 100% of the current fee specified in the Schedule of Rates.

2. The Local Facilities Charge will be charged at 33% of the current fee specified in the Schedule of Rates.

3. The Service Connection Charge will be charged at 40% of the current fee specified in the Schedule of Rates.

4. If actual circumstances in individual situations warrant an adjustment to the above fees, the General Manager is authorized to establish the final fees to be paid.

IV.    SERVICE CONNECTION

A. Service Connection Installation

The Authority will make all connections to its water mains and will specify the location, kind, and quality of all materials entering into the Service Connection except as noted below. 

1. Service Connections for meters less than 3 inch will be installed by the Authority and the Authority will specify the location, kind, and quality of all materials being used in the Service Connection.

2. Service Connections for meters 3 inch and larger will be installed by the builder subject to inspection and approval by the Authority. The Authority will specify the location, kind, and quality of all materials being used in the Service Connection.

3. In cases where the Service Connection installation backlog exceeds five workdays, the builder may elect to use private contractors for installation of Service Connections for meters less than 3 inch subject to inspection and approval by the Authority. In these cases the Service Connection Charge paid will be adjusted in accordance with the fees specified in the Schedule of Rates.

4. The installation of a temporary Service Connection for the purpose of obtaining construction water may be requested by Builders. A construction tap may be installed after payment of the standard Service Connection Charge specified in the Schedule of Rates. Construction taps are intended to be temporary, one year or less, and cannot be used for any purpose other than obtaining water for construction. The Authority is under no obligation to provide these "Construction Taps" and will not do so when installation requires crossing a highway or other inconveniences to the public. The Builder is also responsible for the cost of disconnecting this Service Connection by the Authority.

B.  Meters 

1. Meters shall be part of the Service Connection with the responsibility for installation as defined above.

2. Unless otherwise specified by the Authority, not more than one individual building may be served through each Service Connection.

3. Where meters are installed within a building, the Customer shall provide a readily accessible, heated, and protected location for the installation of the meter at such a point as will control the entire supply to the property, which location must be acceptable to the Authority as convenient for its servicing. Each meter must also be controlled by a curb stop located outside the building.

C.  Ownership/Maintenance

All Service Connections shall remain the property of and under the sole control of the Authority and will be maintained by the Authority at its expense except as otherwise indicated by these Rules and Regulations.

D. Mainline Valve

The Builder shall be responsible for the installation of a mainline valve inside the foundation wall of each building served by each Service Connection. Such valve shall be installed in accordance with applicable Fairfax County Code. Where meters are installed within a building, the Builder shall install valves on both the inlet and the outlet side of the meter in accordance with schematics provided by the Authority.

E. Water Pressure

1. The Authority does not guarantee a uniform pressure, or an uninterrupted supply of water, and Customers are cautioned to provide appropriate devices to satisfy specific pressure requirements and sufficient storage of water where an absolutely uninterrupted supply must be assured, such as for medical needs, steam boilers, etc..

2. Based on Virginia Department of Health Water Works Regulations, the Authority provides each Customer with a minimum of 20 psi water pressure as measured at the water main in the street.

V.    BILLING AND PAYMENT

A. Customer Responsibility

Customers are responsible for furnishing the Authority with their correct address. Failure to receive bills will not be considered a reason for nonpayment, nor permit an extension of the date at which time the account will be considered delinquent.

B. Builder Responsibility

Builders shall not be responsible for the payment of applicable charges for water usage until such time as water is used through a meter installed as part of a Service Connection. Once water use is initiated, the Builder shall become a Customer and become liable for payment of all applicable charges under the Schedule of Rates.

C. Liens

1. Upon request, the Authority will send bills to and receive payments from owners, tenants, or agents. This accommodation will not relieve the property owner of the liability for all fees and charges assessed under the Schedule of Rates.

2. There shall be a lien upon the property for the amount of any rates, fees and other charges made by the Authority for services rendered to such property from and after the time when such rates, fees and other charges are due and payable, and for the interest which may accrue thereon.

D.  Bill Per Service Connection

Each Service Connection shall be billed separately for service.

E. Frequency of Billing

Bills for water service shall be rendered quarterly, with the Advance Quarterly Use Charge billed in advance and all other charges billed in arrears.

F. Estimation

If a meter should fail to register for any reason or if the Authority, after reasonable effort, is unable to obtain a meter reading, an estimated bill will be rendered. Such bill shall be for a reasonable estimated consumption as determined by the Customer's prior usage history or in the case of a new Customer as determined by normal usage for similar Customers.

G. Right to Correct

The Authority reserves the right to correct any bills rendered in error.

H. Meter Accuracy Adjustment

Should a meter test reveal a meter to be over registering by an average of more than 2%, the Authority will refund any over billing as can be shown by a review of the Customer's consumption history. Should a meter be under registering by an average of more than 2%, the Authority may elect to render an estimated billing to cover not more than one quarterly billing period.

I. Courtesy Leak Adjustments

In the event a Customer is subject to an abnormally high billing as a result of a loss caused by an unknown leak, a Courtesy Leak Adjustment may be granted. To be eligible for an adjustment, the Customer must:

(1) promptly and properly repair the leak when detected;
(2) provide written proof of repairs to Fairfax Water; and
(3) not have received a Courtesy Leak Adjustment from Fairfax Water during the preceding five years.

Adjustments will be calculated as follows:

1. For unknown, underground leaks on Customer's service line:

a. 100% of all water usage in a given billing period in excess of a customerís normal usage. Normal water usage will be calculated by averaging the last three corresponding quarterly billing periods or by using daily average.

b. Only one quarterly billing period will be adjusted.

c. Any adjusted water usage amounts in excess of $10,000 must be approved by the Fairfax Water Board.

2. For unknown loss inside a Customerís primary building or structure:

a. 66% of all water usage in a given billing period in excess of a customerís normal usage. Normal water usage will be calculated by averaging the last three corresponding quarterly billing periods or by using daily average.

b. Only one quarterly billing period will be adjusted.

c. Adjusted water usage amounts in excess of $10,000 must be approved by the Fairfax Water Board.

J.  Meter vs. Remote Register Discrepancies

In the event a remote register is found to be malfunctioning and recording less usage than the meter to which it is connected, there will be no adjustment made to bills already rendered to the Customer; however, if the remote register is found to be malfunctioning and recording more usage than the meter to which it is connected, there will be an adjustment of any overcharges billed to the Customer.

K. Swimming Pool Adjustment

Customers subject to the Peak Use Charge due to water used in the operation of a swimming pool will be entitled to an adjustment, provided that the Customer completes the filling of the swimming pool prior to May 15 of each year and the adjustment request is received by the Authority prior to June 1 of each year:

1. Customers with a Service Connection installed for the sole purpose of operating a swimming pool will be entitled to a winter quarter base consumption equal to the capacity of the swimming pool.

2. Customers that do not have a separate Service Connection for a swimming pool will be entitled to an adjustment to the Customer's first summer quarterly bill for any Peak Use consumption up to the amount of water used in the filling of the swimming pool.

L.  Payment Schedule

1. Payments shall be made at the office of the Authority or at such other places as may be designated by the Authority.

2. Bills for water service shall be due and payable when rendered. Bills will be considered as rendered at the time a copy is posted in the United States mail addressed to the last post office address shown on the Authority's records.

3. If a bill is not paid within 30 days after the bill shall become due and payable, a Late Charge will be added in accordance with the current fee specified in the Schedule of Rates and a reminder notice will be rendered.

4. If a bill is not paid within 45 days after the bill shall become due and payable, the Customer will be notified in writing that service will be discontinued ten days from the date of mailing of the written notice if payment is not received in the office of the Authority. The Customer may present any questions, objections, explanations or disputes concerning the bill to the Authority's Customer Service Supervisor at the Authority's General Offices during normal office hours.

VI.    MAINTENANCE OF SERVICE CONNECTION

A. Responsibility

1. Any repair, maintenance, replacement, or relocation necessary to the Customer's service pipe or fixtures shall be performed by the Customer at their expense and risk.

2. Any repair, maintenance, or replacement of the Service Connection caused by ordinary wear shall be the responsibility of the Authority. Repair, maintenance, or replacement due to damages caused by the Customer shall be performed by the Authority at the expense of the Customer.

3. Except in the case of an Authority approved fire service line, the Customer will be responsible for ensuring that no fixture shall be attached to, or any branch made in, the service pipe between the meter and the Authority's water main.

4. The Customer shall promptly notify the Authority of any defect in or damage to any part of the Service Connection.

5. The Customer is responsible at all times for the safekeeping of any of the Authority's pipes, meters, valves or other property that may be located on the property at which the Customer is receiving service.

B.  Accessibility

The service pipes, meters, and fixtures upon the Customer's property shall be accessible to the Authority for observation or inspection at all reasonable hours.

C. Meter Accuracy

1. All Authority meters will be tested and verified to conform to American Water Works Association (AWWA) meter standards prior to installation. Meters will be periodically tested in accordance with procedures established by the General Manager. The Authority may at any time remove any meter for test, repair, or replacement.

2. The Authority shall upon request of a Customer, make a test of the accuracy of the meter in use by the Customer, provided that the meter has not been tested by the Authority within a period of one year previous to such request. A written report of the results of the test shall be furnished to the Customer.

D.  Sanitary Sewer Sub-Meters

1. In accordance with provisions of Fairfax County Code, Customers may install sub-meters for the purpose of measuring water not being discharged into the sanitary sewer system and therefore not subject to sewer use charges, subject to the following conditions:

a. The sub-meter shall be supplied by the Authority after payment by the Customer of the applicable fees specified in the Schedule of Rates.

b. The sub-meter shall be installed by and at the expense of the Customer, in accordance with Authority specifications and subject to inspection by the Authority.

2. Customers will be billed a quarterly Service Charge for each sub-meter as specified in the Schedule of Rates.

3. The Authority will be responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing sub-meters, except in cases where a meter has been damaged due to Customer negligence.

E.  Booster Pumps

Customers that experience pressure inadequate for their specific needs may elect to increase their water pressure by installing a booster pump. These pumps shall be installed in accordance with applicable Fairfax County Plumbing Codes. The installation of booster pumps and the responsibility for the maintenance of booster pumps will be borne by the Customer.

F. Pressure Reducing Valves

Customers that experience greater water pressure than they desire may elect to install a pressure reducing valve within their plumbing system. All such work must be in accordance with applicable Fairfax County Plumbing Codes. The purchase, installation, and maintenance of pressure reducing valves will be the responsibility of the Customer except that under the following circumstances the Authority will provide a pressure reducing valve to be installed and maintained at the Customer's expense:

1. If a residence was constructed prior to December 4, 1972, the date on which the Fairfax County Plumbing Code was amended to require installation of pressure reducing valves, and water pressure to that residence exceeds 80 psi; or

2. The Authority has made changes to its distribution system which increased the water pressure after a residence was constructed and the pressure exceeds 80 psi.

G.  Sediment Filters

For Customers experiencing frequent occurrences of sediment or other particles entering their residence, the General Manager may authorize a reimbursement to the Customer of up to $50 for the purchase and installation of a sediment filter. Such reimbursement will be made based on appropriate receipts and may only be made once per residence. The Authority will not accept responsibility for the maintenance of the filter or for the replacement of filter elements.

VII.   DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE

A. The Authority reserves the right to refuse water service to any Customer at any location who remains in violation of any of the Authority's Rules and Regulations.

B. The Authority reserves the right to discontinue service to any Customer at any time upon the occurrence of one or more of the following events:

1. Violation of Water Use Restrictions

When a Customer violates any of the provisions of a water use restriction or water ban declared by the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, Virginia pursuant to sections 113-1-1, et. seq. of the Fairfax County Code.

2. Emergencies

Whenever, in the opinion of the Authority, an emergency exists justifying such discontinuance of service.

3. Unauthorized Connection - Fraud

Whenever, in the opinion of the Authority, it is necessary to prevent fraud upon the Authority.

4. Tampering

Molesting or tampering by the Customer, or others with the knowledge of the Customer, with any meter, connection, service pipe, curb cock, seal, or any other appliance of the Authority controlling or regulating the Customer's water supply.

C.  The Authority reserves the right to discontinue furnishing water service to any Customer after five days notice upon the occurrence of one or more of the following events:

1. Willful or Indifferent Waste

Whenever the Authority has reason to believe that a willful or indifferent waste of water is occurring in connection with the service for any reason whether or not caused by the Customer.

2. Failure to Provide Access

Failure to provide the Authority free and reasonable access to the property served by a Service Connection, or obstruction of the way of ingress to the meter or other fixtures or appurtenances controlling or regulating the Customer's water supply.

3. Violation of Rules

Violation of any of the Rules and Regulations of the Authority.

4. Cross Connection Violations

Failure to correct cross connections as required by the Fairfax County Department of Environmental Management.

D.  The Authority reserves the right to discontinue furnishing water service to any customer after ten days of notice of nonpayment of any fee or charge accruing under these Rules and Regulations and the Schedules of Rates.

E. Discontinuing the supply of water to a Customer for any reason shall not prevent the Authority from pursuing any lawful remedy by action at law or otherwise for the collection of monies due from the Customer.

F. When water service to a Customer has been terminated for any of the above stated reasons, water service will be renewed only after the conditions, circumstances, or practices which caused the water service to be discontinued are corrected to the satisfaction of the Authority, and upon payment of all applicable fees and charges due and payable by the Customer in accordance with the Schedule of Rates.

G. The Authority reserves the right to discontinue service under any of the above conditions regardless of any claims which the Customer may have against the Authority and regardless of any amounts of money on deposit with the Authority.

H. Notice of discontinuance shall be considered given to a Customer when a copy of such notice is left with the Customer, or left at the property where the service is rendered, or posted in the United States mail addressed to the Customer's last post office address shown on the Authority's records.

I. Whenever the supply of water is discontinued in accordance herewith, the Authority shall not be liable for any damages, direct or indirect, which may result from such discontinuance.

VIII.   FIRE HYDRANTS

A. Installation

1. The Authority will install and connect additional public fire hydrants to its existing water mains six-inch or larger in diameter whenever and wherever, in its opinion, such fire hydrants may be required to provide adequate fire protection service; or upon the written request and at the sole expense of any interested party.

2. The Authority will not be required to extend its mains for the purpose of supplying public fire hydrants which may be desired except under mutually acceptable arrangements to defray the installation cost of such extensions.

B.  Maintenance

After the installation, inspection, and acceptance of a fire hydrant, the Authority will assume the ownership, maintenance and operation thereof, and will pay for any replacement or relocation which may become necessary.

C. Liability

The Authority shall not be considered in any manner to be an insurer of persons or property, or to have undertaken to extinguish fires, or to protect any persons or property against loss or damage by fire or otherwise, and shall not be responsible to any person or persons for any loss, damage or injury by reason of fire, water, failure to supply water or pressure, or any other cause whatsoever.

D. Non-Emergency Use of Fire Hydrants

It is the policy of the Authority to grant permits for the use of fire hydrants when no other water source is reasonably available and after payment of the applicable fees as specified in the Schedule of Rates under the following conditions:

1. Customers with recurring needs at various locations may obtain a fire hydrant use permit for an indefinite period.

2. Customers with a need at a specific location may obtain a fire hydrant use permit for a period not to exceed three years. The three year period may be extended by the General Manager when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the Authority.

E.  Private Fire Service

1. Applicants for a private fire service or private fire hydrant will be required to submit a Site Plan for approval by the Authority. This Site Plan shall be approved by the Authority only after it has been approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal of Fairfax County.

2. The Authority may permit public fire hydrants to be installed on private property and, in such cases, the hydrants and associated easements required therefor, shall be conveyed to the Authority without cost and the Authority shall thereafter operate and maintain these hydrants.

3. Private fire Service Connections will be installed in accordance with regulations administered by the Office of the Fire Marshal of Fairfax County and must be inspected and approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal before service shall be commenced. The Authority will have the right to enter any property at any reasonable time for the purpose of inspecting fire service systems.

4. No water shall be taken or used through an unmetered fire Service Connection for any purpose other than for extinguishing fires or for the purpose of testing the fire service system. All tests must be conducted under the supervision of the Office of the Fire Marshal of Fairfax County.

5. The Authority shall not be in any way or under any circumstances held liable or responsible to any party for any losses or damage resulting from fire or water or other agency which may occur due to the installation or presence of a private fire Service Connection, or any pipe or fixture connected therewith; or for any losses or damage resulting from any leakage or other flow of water from said private fire Service Connection or any of the pipes or fixtures connected therewith; or for any losses or damage resulting from any excess or deficiency in pressure or supply of water due to any cause whatsoever.

6. The entire cost and expense of installing a private fire Service Connection or a private fire hydrant shall be paid by the Applicant.

IX.    EXTENSION OF MAINS

A. Payment for Extension by Authority

The Authority will extend its distribution system to supply water to an Applicant who has applied for service under the following terms and conditions:

1. That the Applicant for service make an advance payment to the Authority equal to such part (or all if the Authority does not make any funds available therefor) of the total estimated cost of the proposed extension as the Authority may determine to be fair and equitable under the circumstances involved, regardless of whether such proposed extension would also serve properties other than those owned by the Applicant.

2. That such portion of the amount advanced by the Applicant which is in excess of the Availability Charges applicable to Service Connections to be made to the proposed extension by the Applicant will be refunded to the Applicant, without interest, from Availability Charges paid by Customers other than the Applicant who may make connections to and receive service through the proposed extension, but in no case shall more than the total amount of the advance payment made by the Applicant be refunded, and no refund shall be made after a period of ten years from the date of such service.

B.  Extension by Applicant

Under special agreement, the Authority may permit an extension of its distribution system to be installed by and at the expense of the Applicant desiring to secure water service. In all such instances the installations shall include such appurtenances as the Authority, or any governmental agency having jurisdiction in such matters, may determine are required to provide adequate service. Such installations shall conform to plans and specifications approved by the Authority and shall be made under the supervision of the Authority.

C. Sizing of Mains

The Authority reserves the right to determine the size of the pipe necessary in making any extension, but in no case shall pipe smaller than six-inches in diameter be installed except in the case of pipestem or similar lots in which case four-inch pipe may be approved.

D. Easements for Extensions

Where the main or extension is to be installed on private property or in a private street, the owner thereof shall provide, free of cost to the Authority, an easement and a free, unobstructed and uninterrupted right-of-way for the installation, maintenance and extension of the main.

E. Ownership

The ownership of the extension installed under these Rules and Regulations shall, after inspection and acceptance by the Authority, be in the Authority, its successors and assigns.

F. Limitation of Extension Rules

Nothing contained in these Rules and Regulations shall limit or prevent the Authority from extending its distribution system whenever it may determine that circumstances so warrant.

X.   GENERAL

A. Conformance to County Code

All plumbing systems supplied from the Authority's water system shall conform to all applicable codes of Fairfax County.

B. Cross Connection

1. No pipe or fixtures supplied from the Authority's water system shall also be connected with pipes or fixtures supplied with water from any other source.

2. In accordance with the applicable Code of Fairfax County, piping systems shall be arranged so as to prevent water from re-entering the water distribution system by siphonage or other means.

C.  Interruption in Supply

1. The Authority may at any time shut off the water in the mains in case of accident, or for the purpose of making connections, alterations, repairs, change, or for other reasons, and may restrict the use of water to reserve a sufficient supply for public fire service or other emergencies whenever the public welfare may require it.

2. While it is the intention of the Authority to give notice in advance of any work (which is not considered an emergency) which must be done that will necessitate any interruption of the supply, such notice is to be considered a courtesy, and not a requirement on the part of the Authority. Property owners must so regulate their installations connected with the water supply system that damage will not occur if water is shut off without notice.

3. The Authority will undertake to use reasonable care and diligence in order to prevent and avoid interruptions and fluctuations in service, but it cannot and does not guarantee that such will not occur.

D.  Special Rates and Contracts

The Authority may establish special rates and enter into contracts with any person, firm, corporation, political subdivision or public body (state or federal) for the wholesale or retail sale of water or for the rendering of any unusual or extraordinary water service; provided, however, that the rates, fees and charges to be paid thereunder shall be not less than amounts which are fair and equitable taking into account the cost to the Authority of providing such service and the periods of such contracts and the provisions of any trust agreement under which bonds were issued for the purpose of paying the cost of any part of its water system.

E. Free Service

There shall be no free service rendered by the Authority and, if any local, state or federal government, or any department, agency or instrumentality thereof, or any other public body shall desire service to be rendered by the Authority, it shall apply for and receive such service pursuant to the Rules and Regulations herein contained and shall pay for the same as established in the Schedule of Rates.

F. Other

1. No person shall turn the water on or off at any street valve, corporation cock, curb cock or other street connection, or disconnect or remove any meter without the consent of the Authority. Penalties provided by law for any such unauthorized action will be rigidly enforced.

2. Employees or agents of the Authority are expressly forbidden to demand or accept any compensation for any service rendered to its Customers except as covered by these Rules and Regulations and Schedule of Rates.

3. No employee or agent of the Authority shall have the right or authority to bind it by any promise, agreement or representation contrary to the letter or intent of these Rules and Regulations.

4. Any complaint against the service or employees of the Authority should be made at the office of the Authority.