Bill Text: NY S00136 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Relates to strengthening of utility storm response and compliance.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-10 - AMENDED ON THIRD READING 136B [S00136 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S00136-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         136--B
            Cal. No. 245

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       (Prefiled)

                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sens. MAYER, COMRIE, HARCKHAM, HINCHEY, HOYLMAN, SALAZAR
          -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
          the  Committee  on  Energy   and   Telecommunications   --   committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to  said  committee -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered
          to first and second report, ordered to a third  reading,  amended  and
          ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading

        AN  ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to strengthening of
          utility storm response and compliance

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Section 25 of the public service law, as added by chapter
     2  665 of the laws of 1980, subdivision 2, paragraph (a) of  subdivision  3
     3  and paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 as amended by chapter 375 of the laws
     4  of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
     5    § 25. Penalties.  1.  Every  public  utility  company,  corporation or
     6  person and the officers, agents and employees  thereof  shall  obey  and
     7  comply  with  every  provision  of this chapter and every order or regu-
     8  lation adopted under authority of this chapter so long as the same shall
     9  be in force.
    10    2. Any public utility company, corporation or person and the officers,
    11  agents and employees thereof that knowingly fails or neglects to obey or
    12  comply with a provision of this chapter or a regulation  or  [an]  order
    13  adopted  under authority of this chapter so long as the same shall be in
    14  force, shall forfeit to the people of the state of New York a  sum  [not
    15  exceeding  one hundred thousand dollars constituting a civil penalty for
    16  each and every offense and, in the case of a continuing violation,  each
    17  day  shall  be deemed a separate and distinct offense] that shall be set
    18  by the public service commission after considering the following:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02683-05-1

        S. 136--B                           2

     1    (a)  the scope of damages caused  by  the  violation  to  individuals,
     2  businesses and the state;
     3    (b) each individual act or omission which led to the violation;
     4    (c) whether the violation was knowing or willful;
     5    (d)  whether the violation was recurring, or had been the subject of a
     6  previous finding by the commission;
     7    (e) whether the violation was of a provision of this chapter,  or    a
     8  regulation  or    order  adopted  under  the  authority of this chapter,
     9  adopted specifically for  the protection of human safety, including  but
    10  not  limited  to  the  commission's  code of gas safety regulations, and
    11  whether the violation caused or constituted  a  contributing  factor  in
    12  bringing  about a death or personal injury, as determined by the commis-
    13  sion;
    14    (f) whether the violation was of a provision of this chapter,  or    a
    15  regulation  or    order  adopted  under  the  authority of this chapter,
    16  specifically designed to protect  the overall reliability and continuity
    17  of service, the duration of any such violation, whether  such  violation
    18  affected  the  reliability or continuity of service, the duration of any
    19  such effect on the reliability or continuity of service, and whether any
    20  effect on the reliability or continuity of service was recurring;
    21    (g) the economic losses  of  ratepayers,  in  the  form  of  increased
    22  service  rates  or  otherwise, associated with damage to or weakening of
    23  infrastructure in connection with the event out of which  the  violation
    24  arose,  including  but  not  limited to investments and costs associated
    25  with repairing, improving, or replacing such infrastructure;
    26    (h) whether the violation was caused in whole or in part  due  to  the
    27  systematic  failure  of  the  entity  to maintain or replace obsolete or
    28  deteriorated materials or equipment;
    29    (i) the degree of preparation, including but not limited to the utili-
    30  zation of mutual aid or other contingent resources, for a storm event or
    31  other event out of which the violation arose for which there was advance
    32  warning or notice; and
    33    (j) mitigating factors relevant to the seriousness of  the  violation,
    34  as determined by the commission.
    35    3. [Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of this section,
    36  any such public utility company, corporation or person and the officers,
    37  agents and employees thereof that knowingly fails or neglects to obey or
    38  comply  with  a  provision  of  this  chapter, or an order or regulation
    39  adopted under the authority of this chapter,  adopted  specifically  for
    40  the protection of human safety, including but not limited to the commis-
    41  sion's  code of gas safety regulations shall, if it is determined by the
    42  commission that such safety violation caused or constituted a contribut-
    43  ing factor in bringing about a death or personal injury, forfeit to  the
    44  state of New York a sum not to exceed the greater of:
    45    (a) two hundred and fifty thousand dollars constituting a civil penal-
    46  ty  for  each separate and distinct offense; provided, however, that for
    47  purposes of this paragraph each day of a continuing violation shall  not
    48  be deemed a separate and distinct offense. The total period of a contin-
    49  uing  violation, as well as every distinct violation, shall be similarly
    50  treated as a separate and distinct offense for purposes  of  this  para-
    51  graph; or
    52    (b)  the  maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with subdivision
    53  two of this section.
    54    4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one or  two  of  this
    55  section,  a  public utility company, corporation or person and the offi-
    56  cers, agents and employees thereof that knowingly fails or  neglects  to

        S. 136--B                           3

     1  obey  or  comply  with a provision of this chapter, or an order or regu-
     2  lation adopted under authority of this chapter, designed to protect  the
     3  overall reliability and continuity of electric service, shall forfeit to
     4  the state of New York a sum not to exceed the greater of:
     5    (a)  five  hundred  thousand  dollars constituting a civil penalty for
     6  each separate and distinct offense; provided, however, that for purposes
     7  of this paragraph each day of a continuing violation shall not be deemed
     8  a separate and distinct  offense.  The  total  period  of  a  continuing
     9  violation,  as  well  as  every  distinct  violation, shall be similarly
    10  treated as a separate and distinct offense for purposes  of  this  para-
    11  graph; or
    12    (b)  the  maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with subdivision
    13  two of this section.
    14    5.] Penalties provided for pursuant to this section shall be recovered
    15  in an action as provided in section twenty-four of this article.
    16    [6] 4.  Any payment made by a public utility company,  corporation  or
    17  person  and the officers, agents and employees thereof as a result of an
    18  action as provided in section twenty-four of this article and  the  cost
    19  of  litigation and investigation related to any such action shall not be
    20  included by the commission in revenue  requirements  used  to  establish
    21  rates and charges.
    22    [7]  5.    In  construing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter
    23  relating to forfeitures and penalties, the act of any director, officer,
    24  agent or employee of a public utility  company,  corporation  or  person
    25  acting  within  the  scope  of  his or her official duties or employment
    26  shall be deemed to be the act of such  public  utility  company,  corpo-
    27  ration or person.
    28    §  2. Section 25-a of the public service law, as added by section 2 of
    29  part X of chapter 57 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:
    30    § 25-a. Combination  gas  and  electric  corporations;  administrative
    31  sanctions;  recovery  of penalties. Notwithstanding sections twenty-four
    32  and twenty-five of this article: 1. Every combination gas  and  electric
    33  corporation  and the officers thereof shall adhere to every provision of
    34  this chapter and every order or regulation adopted  under  authority  of
    35  this chapter so long as the same shall be in force.
    36    2.  (a)  The  commission  shall  have  the authority to assess a civil
    37  penalty in an amount as set forth in this section and against a combina-
    38  tion gas and electric corporation and the officers  thereof  subject  to
    39  the  jurisdiction,  supervision,  or regulation pursuant to this chapter
    40  [in an amount as set forth in this section. In determining the amount of
    41  any penalty to be assessed pursuant  to  this  section,  the  commission
    42  shall consider: (i) the seriousness of the violation for which a penalty
    43  is  sought;  (ii)  the  nature and extent of any previous violations for
    44  which penalties have been assessed against the corporation  or  officer;
    45  (iii)  whether  there  was  knowledge  of  the violation; (iv) the gross
    46  revenues and financial status of the corporation;  and  (v)  such  other
    47  factors as the commission may deem appropriate and relevant].
    48    The remedies provided by this subdivision are in addition to any other
    49  remedies provided in law.
    50    (b)  Whenever  the commission has reason to believe that a combination
    51  gas and electric corporation or such officers thereof should be  subject
    52  to  imposition  of  a civil penalty as set forth in this subdivision, it
    53  shall notify such corporation or officer.   Such notice  shall  include,
    54  but shall not be limited to: (i) the date and a brief description of the
    55  facts and nature of each act or failure to act for which such penalty is
    56  proposed;  (ii)  a  list  of  each statute, regulation or order that the

        S. 136--B                           4

     1  commission alleges has been violated; [and] (iii)  the  amount  of  each
     2  penalty  that  the  commission  proposes  to  [assess and the holding of
     3  evidentiary hearings, as provided in this chapter] be assessed; and (iv)
     4  any proposed actions that the commission deems necessary to address such
     5  alleged violation or violations.  The commission is authorized to under-
     6  take  any  additional  administrative or investigatory  actions  related
     7  to such violation or violations, including but not limited  to,  service
     8  of an administrative complaint, implementation of discovery, interviews,
     9  depositions,  entering into a settlement agreement or other stipulation,
    10  and the holding of evidentiary hearings, as provided in this chapter.
    11    (c) Whenever the commission has reason to believe that  a  combination
    12  gas  and electric corporation or such officers thereof should be subject
    13  to imposition of a civil penalty or  penalties  as  set  forth  in  this
    14  subdivision,  the commission shall hold a hearing to demonstrate why the
    15  proposed penalty or penalties should be assessed against  such  combina-
    16  tion gas and electric corporation or such officers.
    17    3. Any combination gas and electric corporation or such officers ther-
    18  eof  determined  by the commission to have failed to [reasonably] comply
    19  as shown by a preponderance of the evidence, at an evidentiary  hearing,
    20  with  a  provision of this chapter, regulation or an order adopted under
    21  authority of this chapter so long as the same shall be  in  force  shall
    22  forfeit a sum [not exceeding the greater of one hundred thousand dollars
    23  or  two  one-hundredths  of  one  percent of the annual intrastate gross
    24  operating revenue of the corporation, not including taxes  paid  to  and
    25  revenues  collected  on  behalf  of  government entities, constituting a
    26  civil penalty for each and every offense and, in the case of a  continu-
    27  ing violation, each day shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense]
    28  that  shall  be  set by the public service commission, after considering
    29  the following:
    30    (a) the scope of damages caused by the violation to individuals, busi-
    31  nesses and the state;
    32    (b) each individual act or omission which led to the violation;
    33    (c) whether the violation was knowing or willful;
    34    (d) whether the violation was recurring, or had been the subject of  a
    35  previous finding by the commission;
    36    (e)  whether  the  violation was of a provision of this chapter, or  a
    37  regulation or   order adopted  under  the  authority  of  this  chapter,
    38  adopted  specifically for  the protection of human safety, including but
    39  not limited to the commission's code  of  gas  safety  regulations,  and
    40  whether  the  violation  caused  or constituted a contributing factor in
    41  bringing about a death or personal injury, as determined by the  commis-
    42  sion;
    43    (f)  whether  the  violation was of a provision of this chapter, or  a
    44  regulation or   order adopted  under  the  authority  of  this  chapter,
    45  specifically designed to protect  the overall reliability and continuity
    46  of  service,  the duration of any such violation, whether such violation
    47  affected the reliability or continuity of service, the duration  of  any
    48  such effect on the reliability or continuity of service, and whether any
    49  effect on the reliability or continuity of service was recurring;
    50    (g)  the  economic  losses  of  ratepayers,  in  the form of increased
    51  service rates or otherwise, associated with damage to  or  weakening  of
    52  infrastructure  in  connection with the event out of which the violation
    53  arose, including but not limited to  investments  and  costs  associated
    54  with repairing, improving, or replacing such infrastructure;

        S. 136--B                           5

     1    (h)  whether  the  violation was caused in whole or in part due to the
     2  systematic failure of the entity to  maintain  or  replace  obsolete  or
     3  deteriorated materials or equipment;
     4    (i) the degree of preparation, including but not limited to the utili-
     5  zation of mutual aid or other contingent resources, for a storm event or
     6  other event out of which the violation arose for which there was advance
     7  warning or notice; and
     8    (j)  mitigating  factors relevant to the seriousness of the violation,
     9  as determined by the commission.
    10    4. [Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  subdivision  three  of  this
    11  section, any such combination gas and electric corporation determined by
    12  the  commission  to have failed to reasonably comply with a provision of
    13  this chapter, or an order or regulation adopted under the  authority  of
    14  this  chapter  specifically  for  the  protection  of  human  safety  or
    15  prevention of significant damage to real property,  including,  but  not
    16  limited to, the commission's code of gas safety regulations shall, if it
    17  is  determined by the commission by a preponderance of the evidence that
    18  such safety violation caused or constituted  a  contributing  factor  in
    19  bringing  about:   (a) a death or personal injury; or (b) damage to real
    20  property in excess of fifty thousand  dollars,  forfeit  a  sum  not  to
    21  exceed the greater of:
    22    (i)  two hundred fifty thousand dollars or three one-hundredths of one
    23  percent of the annual intrastate gross operating revenue of  the  corpo-
    24  ration,  not including taxes paid to and revenues collected on behalf of
    25  government entities, whichever is greater, constituting a civil  penalty
    26  for  each  separate  and  distinct  offense; provided, however, that for
    27  purposes of this paragraph, each day of a continuing violation shall not
    28  be deemed a separate and distinct offense. The total period of a contin-
    29  uing violation, as well as every distinct violation, shall be  similarly
    30  treated  as  a  separate and distinct offense for purposes of this para-
    31  graph; or
    32    (ii) the maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with  subdivision
    33  three of this section.
    34    5. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision three or four of this
    35  section,  a  combination  gas and electric corporation determined by the
    36  commission to have failed to reasonably comply by a preponderance of the
    37  evidence with a provision of this chapter, or  an  order  or  regulation
    38  adopted under authority of this chapter, designed to protect the overall
    39  reliability and continuity of electric service, including but not limit-
    40  ed to the restoration of electric service following a major outage event
    41  or emergency, shall forfeit a sum not to exceed the greater of:
    42    (a)  five  hundred  thousand  dollars  or  four  one-hundredths of one
    43  percent of the annual intrastate gross operating revenue of  the  corpo-
    44  ration,  not including taxes paid to and revenues collected on behalf of
    45  government entities, whichever is greater, constituting a civil  penalty
    46  for  each  separate  and  distinct  offense; provided, however, that for
    47  purposes of this paragraph each day of a continuing violation shall  not
    48  be deemed a separate and distinct offense. The total period of a contin-
    49  uing  violation,  as well as every distinct violation shall be similarly
    50  treated as a separate and distinct offense for purposes  of  this  para-
    51  graph; or
    52    (b)  the  maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with subdivision
    53  three of this section.
    54    6. Any officer of any combination gas and electric corporation  deter-
    55  mined  by  the commission to have violated the provisions of subdivision
    56  three, four, or five of this  section,  and  who  knowingly  violates  a

        S. 136--B                           6

     1  provision of this chapter, regulation or an order adopted under authori-
     2  ty of this chapter so long as the same shall be in force shall forfeit a
     3  sum  not  to  exceed  one  hundred thousand dollars constituting a civil
     4  penalty  for  each  and  every  offense and, in the case of a continuing
     5  violation, each day shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
     6    7. Any such assessment may  be  compromised  or  discontinued  by  the
     7  commission.]  All  moneys  recovered  pursuant to this section, together
     8  with the costs thereof, shall be remitted to, or for the benefit of, the
     9  ratepayers in a manner to be determined by the commission.
    10    [8.] 5. Upon a failure by a combination gas and  electric  corporation
    11  or  officer  to remit any penalty assessed by the commission pursuant to
    12  this section, the commission, through  its  counsel,  may  institute  an
    13  action or special proceeding to collect the penalty in a court of compe-
    14  tent jurisdiction.
    15    [9.] 6. Any payment made by a combination gas and electric corporation
    16  or  the  officers  thereof  as  a  result of an assessment or penalty as
    17  provided in this section, and the cost of litigation  and  investigation
    18  related  to  any such assessment, shall not be recoverable from ratepay-
    19  ers.
    20    [10.] 7. In construing and enforcing the provisions  of  this  chapter
    21  relating  to  penalties,  the  act  of  any  director, officer, agent or
    22  employee of a combined gas and electric corporation  acting  within  the
    23  scope  of his or her official duties or employment shall be deemed to be
    24  the act of such corporation.
    25    [11.] 8. It shall be a violation of this chapter  should  a  director,
    26  officer  or  employee  of  a public utility company, corporation, person
    27  acting in his or her official duties or employment, or an  agent  acting
    28  on  behalf  of  an  employer  take  retaliatory personnel action such as
    29  discharge, suspension, demotion, penalization or discrimination  against
    30  an  employee  for  reporting  a violation of a provision of this chapter
    31  [of] or an order or regulation adopted under the authority of this chap-
    32  ter, including, but not limited to, those governing  safe  and  adequate
    33  service,  protection of human safety or prevention of significant damage
    34  to real property, including, but not limited to, the  commission's  code
    35  of  gas safety.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to diminish
    36  the rights, privileges or remedies of any employee under any  other  law
    37  or  regulation,  including  but  not  limited to article twenty-C of the
    38  labor law and section seventy-five-b of the civil service law, or  under
    39  any collective bargaining agreement or employment contract.
    40    § 3. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 25-b to
    41  read as follows:
    42    §  25-b.  Administrative  actions  against  other  regulated entities.
    43  Notwithstanding any other provision of  this  chapter,  section  twenty-
    44  five-a  of  this  article  shall apply in equal force to: 1. an electric
    45  corporation as defined in subdivision thirteen of section  two  of  this
    46  article;  2.  a  gas  corporation  as  defined  in subdivision eleven of
    47  section two of this article; 3. a  cable  television  company  or  cable
    48  television  system as defined in subdivisions one and two of section two
    49  hundred twelve of this article; 4. a telephone corporation as defined in
    50  subdivision seventeen of section two of this article; 5. a steam  corpo-
    51  ration as defined in subdivision twenty-two of section two of this arti-
    52  cle;  and 6. a water-works corporation as defined in subdivision twenty-
    53  seven of section two of  this  article;  as  well  as  the  officers  or
    54  employees of any such corporate entities described above.

        S. 136--B                           7

     1    §  4.    Subdivision  21  of  section 66 of the public service law, as
     2  amended by section 4 of part X of chapter 57 of the  laws  of  2013,  is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    21.  (a) Each electric corporation subject to section twenty-five-a of
     5  this chapter shall annually, on or before December fifteenth, submit  to
     6  the  commission  an emergency response plan for review and approval. The
     7  emergency response plan shall be  designed  for  the  reasonably  prompt
     8  restoration  of  service  in the case of an emergency event, defined for
     9  purposes of this subdivision as an event where widespread  outages  have
    10  occurred  in the service territory of the company due to storms or other
    11  causes beyond the control of the company. The  emergency  response  plan
    12  shall  include, but need not be limited to, the following: (i) the iden-
    13  tification of management staff responsible for company operations during
    14  an emergency; (ii) a communications plan that  includes:  (A)  a  system
    15  [with]  that  communicates  service  information  to customers during an
    16  emergency that extends beyond normal business hours and business  condi-
    17  tions; [(iii)] (B) identification of and outreach plans to customers who
    18  had  documented  their need for essential electricity for medical needs;
    19  [(iv)] (C) identification of and outreach plans  to  customers  who  had
    20  documented  their  need  for  essential  electricity to provide critical
    21  telecommunications, critical transportation, critical fuel  distribution
    22  services  or  other  large-load  customers identified by the commission;
    23  [(v)] (D) designation of company staff to communicate with  local  offi-
    24  cials  and  appropriate  regulatory agencies; [(vi)] and (E) identifies,
    25  tests  and  verifies  redundancies  in  communications  systems;   (iii)
    26  provisions  regarding  how  the  company  will  assure the safety of its
    27  employees and contractors; [(vii)] (iv) procedures for deploying company
    28  and mutual aid crews to work assignment areas; [(viii)] (v)  identifica-
    29  tion  of  additional  supplies and equipment needed during an emergency;
    30  [(ix)] (vi) the means of obtaining additional  supplies  and  equipment;
    31  [(x)]  (vii)  procedures to practice the emergency response plan; [(xi)]
    32  (viii) appropriate  safety  precautions  regarding  electrical  hazards,
    33  including  plans to promptly secure downed wires within thirty-six hours
    34  of notification of the location of such downed wires  from  a  municipal
    35  emergency  official;  and [(xii)] (ix) such other additional information
    36  as the commission may require. Each such corporation shall, on an annual
    37  basis, undertake drills implementing procedures to practice its emergen-
    38  cy management plan. The commission  may  adopt  additional  requirements
    39  consistent with ensuring the reasonably prompt restoration of service in
    40  the case of an emergency event.
    41    (b)  After  review  of  a  corporation's  emergency response plan, the
    42  commission may require such corporation to amend the plan.  The  commis-
    43  sion  may also open an investigation of the corporation's plan to deter-
    44  mine its sufficiency to respond adequately to an emergency event.    If,
    45  after  hearings, the commission finds a material deficiency in the plan,
    46  it may order the company  to  make  such  modifications  that  it  deems
    47  reasonably necessary to remedy the deficiency.
    48    (c)  The  commission  is authorized to open an investigation to review
    49  the performance of any corporation in  restoring  service,  implementing
    50  communications  plans or otherwise meeting the requirements of the emer-
    51  gency response plan during an emergency  event.  If,  after  evidentiary
    52  hearings  or  other investigatory proceedings, the commission finds that
    53  the corporation failed to [reasonably] implement its emergency  response
    54  plan  or the length of such corporation's outages were materially longer
    55  than they would have been, because  of  such  corporation's  failure  to
    56  [reasonably]  implement  its emergency response plan, the commission may

        S. 136--B                           8

     1  deny the recovery of any part of the service restoration costs caused by
     2  such failure, commensurate with the degree and  impact  of  the  service
     3  outage;  provided,  however, that nothing herein limits the commission's
     4  authority  to otherwise commence a proceeding pursuant to sections twen-
     5  ty-four, twenty-five and twenty-five-a of this chapter.
     6    (d) The commission shall certify to the department of homeland securi-
     7  ty  and  emergency  services  that  each  such  corporation's  emergency
     8  response  plan  is  sufficient to ensure to the greatest extent feasible
     9  the timely and safe restoration of energy services after an emergency in
    10  compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
    11    (e) The filing of each emergency response plan  required  under  para-
    12  graph  (a)  of this subdivision shall also include a copy of all written
    13  mutual assistance agreements among utilities.
    14    (f) Each electric corporation shall file with the county executive  or
    15  the  chief  elected  official  of  a  county  for each county within its
    16  service territory  the  most  recent  approved  copy  of  the  emergency
    17  response  plan required pursuant to this section. For the purposes of an
    18  electric corporation operating within the city of New York, such  corpo-
    19  ration  shall file the most recent approved emergency response plan with
    20  the emergency management office of the city of New York.
    21    (g) The commission shall provide access  to  such  emergency  response
    22  plan pursuant to article six of the public officers law.
    23    §  5.  Section 94 of the public service law is amended by adding a new
    24  subdivision 5 to read as follows:
    25    5. (a) Each corporation subject to this article shall annually, on  or
    26  before  December  fifteenth,  submit  to  the  commission  an  emergency
    27  response plan for review and approval. The emergency response plan shall
    28  be designed for the reasonably prompt restoration of service in the case
    29  of an emergency event, defined for purposes of this  subdivision  as  an
    30  event where widespread outages have occurred in the service territory of
    31  the  company  due  to  storms  or other causes beyond the control of the
    32  company. The emergency response plan shall  include,  but  need  not  be
    33  limited  to,  the  following: (i) the identification of management staff
    34  responsible for company operations during an emergency; (ii) a  communi-
    35  cations plan that includes (A) a system that communicates service infor-
    36  mation to customers during an emergency that extends beyond normal busi-
    37  ness  hours and business conditions; (B) designation of company staff to
    38  communicate with local officials and  appropriate  regulatory  agencies;
    39  and  (C)  identifies,  tests and verifies redundancies in communications
    40  systems; (iii) provisions regarding how  the  company  will  ensure  the
    41  safety  of  its employees and contractors; (iv) procedures for deploying
    42  personnel crews to work assignment areas; (v)  identification  of  addi-
    43  tional supplies and equipment needed during an emergency; (vi) the means
    44  of  obtaining  additional  supplies  and  equipment; (vii) procedures to
    45  practice the emergency response plan; and (viii) such  other  additional
    46  information  as the commission may require. Each such corporation shall,
    47  on an annual basis, undertake drills implementing procedures to practice
    48  its emergency management  plan.  The  commission  may  adopt  additional
    49  requirements  consistent with ensuring the reasonably prompt restoration
    50  of service in the case of an emergency event.
    51    (b) After review of  a  corporation's  emergency  response  plan,  the
    52  commission  may  require such corporation to amend the plan. The commis-
    53  sion may also open an investigation of the corporation's plan to  deter-
    54  mine  its  sufficiency  to respond adequately to an emergency event. If,
    55  after hearings, the commission finds a material deficiency in the  plan,

        S. 136--B                           9

     1  it  may  order  the  company  to  make  such modifications that it deems
     2  reasonably necessary to remedy the deficiency.
     3    (c)  The  commission  is authorized to open an investigation to review
     4  the performance of any corporation in  restoring  service,  implementing
     5  communications  plans or otherwise meeting the requirements of the emer-
     6  gency response plan during an emergency event.
     7    (d) Each corporation subject to this article shall file with the coun-
     8  ty executive or the chief elected official of a county for  each  county
     9  within  its service territory the most recent approved copy of the emer-
    10  gency response plan required pursuant to this section. For the  purposes
    11  of a corporation operating within the city of New York, such corporation
    12  shall  file  the  most  recent approved emergency response plan with the
    13  emergency management office of the city of New York.
    14    (e) The commission shall provide access  to  such  emergency  response
    15  plan pursuant to article six of the public officers law.
    16    §  6. Section 216 of the public service law is amended by adding a new
    17  subdivision 4-a to read as follows:
    18    4-a. (a) Each corporation subject to this article shall  annually,  on
    19  or  before  December  fifteenth,  submit  to the commission an emergency
    20  response plan for review and approval. The emergency response plan shall
    21  be designed for the reasonably prompt restoration of service in the case
    22  of an emergency event, defined for purposes of this  subdivision  as  an
    23  event where widespread outages have occurred in the service territory of
    24  the  company  due  to  storms  or other causes beyond the control of the
    25  company. The emergency response plan shall  include,  but  need  not  be
    26  limited  to,  the  following: (i) the identification of management staff
    27  responsible for company operations during an emergency; (ii) a  communi-
    28  cations  plan  which  includes:  (A)  a system that communicates service
    29  information to customers during an emergency that extends beyond  normal
    30  business hours and business conditions; (B) designation of company staff
    31  to communicate with local officials and appropriate regulatory agencies;
    32  and  (C)  identifies,  tests and verifies redundancies in communications
    33  systems; (iii) provisions regarding how  the  company  will  ensure  the
    34  safety  of  its employees and contractors; (iv) procedures for deploying
    35  personnel crews to work assignment areas; (v)  identification  of  addi-
    36  tional supplies and equipment needed during an emergency; (vi) the means
    37  of  obtaining  additional  supplies  and  equipment; (vii) procedures to
    38  practice the emergency response plan; and (viii) such  other  additional
    39  information  as the commission may require. Each such corporation shall,
    40  on an annual basis, undertake drills implementing procedures to practice
    41  its emergency management  plan.  The  commission  may  adopt  additional
    42  requirements  consistent with ensuring the reasonably prompt restoration
    43  of service in the case of an emergency event.
    44    (b) After review of  a  corporation's  emergency  response  plan,  the
    45  commission  may  require such corporation to amend the plan. The commis-
    46  sion may also open an investigation of the corporation's plan to  deter-
    47  mine  its  sufficiency  to respond adequately to an emergency event. If,
    48  after hearings, the commission finds a material deficiency in the  plan,
    49  it  may  order  the  company  to  make  such modifications that it deems
    50  reasonably necessary to remedy the deficiency.
    51    (c) The commission is authorized to open an  investigation  to  review
    52  the  performance  of  any corporation in restoring service, implementing
    53  communications plans or otherwise meeting the requirements of the  emer-
    54  gency response plan during an emergency event.
    55    (d) Each corporation subject to this article shall file with the coun-
    56  ty  executive  or the chief elected official of a county for each county

        S. 136--B                          10

     1  within its service territory the most recent approved copy of the  emer-
     2  gency  response plan required pursuant to this section. For the purposes
     3  of a corporation operating within the city of New York, such corporation
     4  shall  file  the  most  recent approved emergency response plan with the
     5  emergency management office of the city of New York.
     6    (e) The commission shall provide access  to  such  emergency  response
     7  plan pursuant to article six of the public officers law.
     8    § 7. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part
     9  of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to
    10  be invalid and after exhaustion of  all  further  judicial  review,  the
    11  judgment  shall  not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof,
    12  but shall be confined in its operation to the  clause,  sentence,  para-
    13  graph,  section or part of this act directly involved in the controversy
    14  in which the judgment shall have been rendered.
    15    § 8. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    16  have  become  a  law.  Effective  immediately,  the department of public
    17  service or the public service commission is authorized to promulgate any
    18  regulations or orders necessary to implement this act.
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