Physical Security of Electric Infrastructure (R.15-06-009)

Initiated in June 2015 in response to passage of Senate Bill 699, this proceeding directed the Commission "to consider rules to address the physical security of the distribution systems of electric corporations."

Physical Security Fact Sheet

Physical Security Executive Summary

Utility Compliance Documents Submitted to the Commission in Partial Fulfillment of Physical Security Regulations

History of Rulemaking:

January 22, 2019 - Physical Security of the Electric Distribution System (R.15-06-009) By a 4-0 vote the Commission on January 22, 2019 approved the Physical Security Decision, D.19-01-018, making California the first state in the nation to adopt rules to guard its electric distribution grid against terrorist attack. In response, California’s electric utilities will begin preparing threat assessments and drafting security plans that identify “critical” assets and propose security mitigation measures. Adoption of D.19-01-018 marks another milestone in the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division carrying out the Legislature’s directives of SB 699 and PU Code 364 to ensure the security and resilience of those electric grid assets subject to Commission oversight.

November 9, 2018  - CommissionerRechtschaffen's Phase I Proposed Decision, November 9, 2018,addressing OIR on the Physical Security of Electrical Corporations
                                - Attachment 1 to the Proposed Decision

In January 2018, SED’s risk assessment section published a staff white paper Security and Resilience for California Electric Distribution Infrastructure: Regulatory and Industry Response to SB 699. The report assesses the readiness of California’s electric utility companies to respond to a terrorist attack and the grid’s ability to withstand such an organized attack, and makes recommendations for low-cost mitigations and approaches to enhance grid security and reduce the prospects and damage of any future incident.  

The white paper also provides extensive background on California and Federal steps to establish physical security protocols for the electricity sector, and provides a blueprint for how SED’s risk assessment section’s carried out Phase 1.   

Link to report:

 Security and Resilience for California Electric Distribution Infrastructure: Regulatory and Industry Response to SB 699

Relatedly, as Phase 1 of R.15-06-009 comes to a close, the Commission will consider a Joint Utility Proposal for Distribution Substation and Distribution Control Center Security Programs and Mitigation Plans. The utility proposal, and SED’s risk assessment section’s recommendations for modifications to the proposal can be accessed at the links below

Link to Joint Proposal and Staff recommendations:

Updated Utility Draft Proposal for Physical Security Regulations

SED Staff Recommendation for Commission Consideration

In 2017, in support of the proceeding, SED's risk assessment section facilitated four public workshops and convened a technical working group to advance understanding of the issues surrounding physical security, elicit input and expertise from experts and stakeholders, and to reach broad consensus on a set of challenges and opportunities. 


To receive to all proceeding notices via email, subscribe by going to the Proceeding webpage and click on “subscribe”.  All proceeding rulings, notice, comments and other relevant documentation can also be found at this webpage.

 Links to Key Documents:  


Workshop 1, May 2, 2017 at CalOES, Mather, CA

    Information Sharing, Protection, and Confidentiality | Establishing Proceeding Rules of Engagement for Input and Testimony on Sensitive Subjects | Establishing     Protocols for Data Access and Transfer



Workshop 2, May 31, 2017 at CPUC Auditorium, SF

    State, Federal, and Industry Standards and Responses; NERC CIP-014 and the post-Metcalf Environment          


            NERC presentation, Carl Herron

            SMUD presentation, James Day


Workshop 3, June 21, 2017 at Southern California Edison, Rosemead

    How SB 699 Legislative Directive Informs CPUC Response and Responsibility; Threat Assessment, Critical Substation Protections and Incident Response and     Resiliency


       SED Introductory slides  

       Data Gathering on Physical Security Incidents, Martin Kurtovich   

       Protecting Critical Electric Distribution Infrastructure, Harford Field III, Corporate Risk Solutions, Inc.

       Business Resiliency at SCE, Robert Kang   

       Incident Response and Resiliency, Stephen LaFond, Riverside Public Utilities   

       Joint Utility Straw Proposal slides    

       SDGE Draft Dist Security Proposal Discussion  


Workshop 4, September 29, 2017 at California Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, San Francisco, CA


         SED Slides Workshop 4 

         Physical Security Overview 

         Draft SED Recommendations

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