General Order 165
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.