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Central Hudson facing $16M in fines for storm response

Nov 20, 2020 5:45 am
William J. Kemble and Mike Stribl are reporting for the Daily Freeman the state Department of Public Service November 19, called for Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. to be fined $16 million for violations related to the recovery from Tropical Storm Isaias in August. The department also recommended fines of $102 million for New York City-based Con Edison and $19 million for Orange and Rockland Utilities related to the same recovery. The utilities were warned about two weeks after the storm that steep fines were possible. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters the proposed Central Hudson fine is the result of 32 separate violations related to power outages that lasted from August 4 until August 8. Con Ed was cited for 33 violations, and O and R for 38. All three companies will have the opportunity to dispute the recommended fines. The Department of Public Service said in a 46-page report that Isaias caused 116,000 customers of Central Hudson to lose power. The utility serves a total of about 306,000 customers in eight New York counties, including Ulster, Dutchess, Greene and Columbia. Con Ed had 330,000 outages, and O&R had 189,000, the report said. The report said Central Hudson and the other two utilities did not have enough personnel to make repairs, take calls from customers and provide outage and repair updates online. State Investigators also said preparations for Isaias by all three utilities were based on a misreading of the storm’s track, resulting in requests for outside assistance not being made until the storm was about to hit the area. Read more in The Daily Freeman.