Bill Text: CA SB1312 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Electrical corporations: deenergization: prudency standard.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-03-25 - From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on RLS. [SB1312 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SB1312-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1312


Introduced by Senator McGuire

February 21, 2020


An act relating to the Public Utilities Commission. An act to add Article 14 (commencing with Section 925) to Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1312, as amended, McGuire. Public Utilities Commission. Electrical corporations: deenergization: prudency standard.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare a wildfire mitigation plan and to submit its plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. Existing law requires the wildfire mitigation plan to include, among other things, protocols for disabling reclosers and deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety.
This bill would require the commission to develop a standard against which to measure the prudency of an electrical corporation’s conduct of a public safety power shutoff, as defined, and an electrical corporation’s hardening of distribution or transmission infrastructure that motivated the public safety power shutoff. The bill would require an electrical corporation that conducts a public safety power shutoff to report specified information about the shutoff and its infrastructure hardening efforts to the commission. The bill would require the commission to hold hearings to determine whether a public safety power shutoff was conducted prudently. The bill would require the commission, if it determines a shutoff or related hardening was not conducted prudently, to levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act, or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, is a crime.
Because the provisions of the bill would be included in the act and would require action by the commission, a violation of which would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

The California Constitution establishes the Public Utilities Commission, with jurisdiction over all public utilities. The California Constitution grants the commission certain general powers over all public utilities, subject to control by the Legislature. The California Constitution authorizes the commission to establish rules for all public utilities, subject to control by the Legislature, and to establish its own procedures, subject to statutory limitations or directions and constitutional requirements of due process.

This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation regarding the Public Utilities Commission.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 14 (commencing with Section 925) is added to Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:
Article  14. Public Safety Power Shutoffs

925.
 (a) For purposes of this article, “public safety power shutoff” means the deenergization of any portion of the electrical distribution or transmission system to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition.
(b) (1) The commission shall develop a standard against which to measure the prudency of an electrical corporation’s actions regarding both of the following:
(A) A public safety power shutoff, as to which the standard shall measure only the electrical corporation’s compliance with all applicable statutory standards and procedures, and with the provisions of the electrical corporation’s wildfire mitigation plan described in Section 8386.
(B) The hardening of distribution or transmission infrastructure after a public safety power shutoff pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (f).
(2) The commission shall develop the standard described in paragraph (1) in a manner that does not increase the liability of the state for any damage or injury arising from a wildfire, public safety power shutoff, or any related conduct or incident.
(c) An electrical corporation shall report to the commission on a public safety power shutoff within 30 days of the shutoff. A report provided pursuant to this paragraph shall set forth the portions of the electrical corporation’s distribution or transmission infrastructure, presented in an identifiable format, where safety risk motivated the electrical corporation to initiate the public safety power shutoff.
(d) (1) Within 60 days of a public safety power shutoff by an electrical corporation, the commission shall hold a hearing on the shutoff. Upon completion of the hearing, the commission shall make a determination whether the public safety power shutoff was conducted prudently.
(2) If the commission determines the public safety power shutoff was not conducted prudently, the commission shall levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.
(e) Within 60 days of a hearing held pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), an electrical corporation shall report to the commission on the steps it will take to reduce the risk along the portions of distribution or transmission infrastructure described in subdivision (c) to prevent future public safety power shutoffs due to the risk posed by that infrastructure.
(f) (1) Within one year of a public safety power shutoff, an electrical corporation shall report to the commission on the level of hardening completed on the distribution or transmission infrastructure described in subdivision (c) to prevent future public safety power shutoffs due to the risk posed by that infrastructure. If the grid hardening steps described in the report under subdivision (e) are not completed within one year of a public safety power shutoff, the electrical corporation shall outline in the report under this paragraph the additional time required to complete the grid hardening.
(2) If the commission determines pursuant to subdivision (b) that an electrical corporation’s failure to harden its infrastructure following a public safety power shutoff was not prudent, the commission shall levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation regarding the Public Utilities Commission.

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