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General Order 165
Opinion

V.    Emergency Standards
 
D.96-11-021 stated our intent to review proposals for standards for operation, reliability, and safety during emergencies and disasters, consistent with 364 (b) enacted by AB 1890.

We can envision at least five different kinds of emergency standards. First, we could establish procedural and planning requirements for utilities, including, for example, the filing of a detailed emergency plan with specified elements, and participation in programs sponsored by the California Office of Emergency Services. Respondent utilities have already filed emergency plans with many of these elements. Second, we could specify the minimum acceptable levels of stand-by and repair personnel; for example, the number and composition of heavy construction crews. Third, we could establish expectations for emergency response; for example, that the utilities clear roads with their own crews, rather than waiting for other agencies to make these expenditures, where this will expedite the restoration of service, and not endanger service elsewhere. Fifth, and finally, we could avoid prescriptive standards, and simply establish a penalty (within or without the PBR mechanism) for each customer-day of outage, escalating in level with longer outages, and with some provision for adjustment during regional disasters beyond utility control.

We herein direct respondent utilities to file no later than August 1, 1997, proposed standards and comments on the practicality and desirability of other kinds of standards. Other parties are invited to submit reply comments no later than September 15, 1997.