Water and Electric Utilities Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response – Coordination with Local Governments (R.15-06-009, Phase 2)

Following a successful first phase to develop new rules for distribution grid security, the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division, Risk Assessment Section, is leading a second phase to shape new rules for emergency planning by water and electric utilities (gas utilities at present are subject to such safety guidelines). The action comes in response to AB 1650, which added Section 768.6 to the Public Utilities Code, and requires, among other things, that water and electric utilities develop disaster and emergency preparedness plans, and seek local government input so as to improve communication with the public, and mitigate the effects of catastrophic events.

A series of public workshops has been scheduled for 2018, the first of which will be held in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES). Calendared for June 26, Workshop 1 will be held at CalOES headquarter in Mather. An RSVP is required to attend in person and remote call in and webex will be available. Check the CPUC’s Daily Calendar page http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?DocTypeID=9&Latest=1 two weeks from the event date for details on how to participate in person or remotely.

On May 31, 2018, assigned Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen issued a Phase 2 Scoping Memo and Ruling http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&docid=215366851 that outlines the issues that the Commission will seek to address and questions that are to be considered in undertaking the Utility Emergency Planning and Coordination phase. The Scoping Memo also describes a public workshop schedule and provides the full text of Public Utilities Code Section 768.6, the legislative directive to the Commission to undertake a proceeding to consider new rules for utility emergency response and coordination.

Phase 2 of proceeding R.15-06-009 was set in motion January 2018 with issuance of the assigned Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Kelly’s Ruling on Setting PHC for Phase 2 and Requesting PHC Statements, setting a March 15 Prehearing Conference (PHC) and requesting statements to inform the PHC.

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