Bill Text: NY S04960 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to strengthening of utility storm response and compliance by reviewing mitigating factors including but not limited to mitigating factors and the specifics surrounding the violation or violations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-01-07 - REFERENCE CHANGED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS [S04960 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S04960-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          4960

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 19, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen.  MAYER  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

        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:
    19    (a)    the  scope  of  damages caused by the violation to individuals,
    20  businesses and the state;
    21    (b) each individual act or omission which led to the violation;
    22    (c) whether the violation was knowing or willful;
    23    (d) whether the violation was recurring, or had been the subject of  a
    24  previous finding by the commission;

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02683-07-1

        S. 4960                             2

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

        S. 4960                             3

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

        S. 4960                             4

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

        S. 4960                             5

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

        S. 4960                             6

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

        S. 4960                             7

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

        S. 4960                             8

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

        S. 4960                             9

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

        S. 4960                            10

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