Assembly passes bill requiring faster storm plans
Paul Kirby is reporting for the Daily Freeman.the New York state Assembly has approved a law that would require utilities to submit weather event emergency plans to the Public Service Commission within 24 hours. Assemblymember Kevin Cahill said the legislation has made its way through the Assembly and a Senate version is currently pending. According to Cahill’s office, the law requires “electric utilities to develop and submit emergency weather event response plans to the Public Service Commission, including staffing procedures as well as catalog restoration after 24-hour periods.“ Cahill said in a statement that storm preparedness has become a significant concern for many. “When a utility provides power to consumers, it is the responsibility of that company to take every measure to ensure that those services are maintained through extreme weather to the best of their ability and reconnected as early as possible in the event of an outage,” he said. According to Cahill's office, the ice storm that struck on February 4, caused nearly 50,000 Ulster County outages and some of those outages lasted for five days. Central Hudson spokesperson Joseph Jenkins said this week the company already submits plans to state regulators. “Central Hudson has developed and follows an electric emergency plan that is reviewed, updated and approved annually by state regulators, then shared with county officials." He said the plan includes a storm classification system that details staffing levels, preparations, operations, the process by which the company acquires mutual aid. Read more in the Daily Freeman.