Today's Law As Amended

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SB-291 Public Utilities Commission: safety enforcement: gas and electrical corporations.(2013-2014)



SECTION 1.

 Section 1702.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

1702.5.
 (a) The commission shall, in an existing or new proceeding, develop and implement a safety enforcement program applicable to gas corporations and electrical corporations which includes procedures for monitoring, data tracking and analysis, and investigations, as well as issuance of citations by commission staff, under the direction of the executive director. The enforcement program shall be designed to improve gas and electrical system safety through the enforcement of applicable law, or order or rule of the commission related to safety using a variety of enforcement mechanisms, including the issuance of corrective actions, orders, and citations by designated commission staff, and recommendations for action made to the commission by designated commission staff.
(1) When considering the issuance of citations and assessment of penalties, the commission staff shall take into account voluntary reporting of potential violations, voluntary removal or resolution efforts undertaken, the prior history of violations, the gravity of the violation, and the degree of culpability.
(2) The procedures shall include, but are not limited to, providing notice of violation within a reasonable period of time after the discovery of the violation.
(3) The commission shall adopt an administrative limit on the amount of monetary penalty that may be set by commission staff.
(b) The commission shall develop and implement an appeals process to govern the issuance and appeal of citations or resolution of corrective action orders issued by the commission staff. The appeals process shall provide the respondent a reasonable period of time, upon receiving a citation, to file a notice of appeal, shall afford an opportunity for a hearing, and shall require the hearing officer to expeditiously provide a draft disposition.
(c) The commission shall, within a reasonable time set by the commission, conclude a safety enforcement action with a finding of violation, a corrective action order, a citation, a determination of no violation, approval of the corrective actions undertaken by the gas corporation or electrical corporation, or other action. The commission may institute a formal proceeding regarding the alleged violation, potentially resulting in additional enforcement action, regardless of any enforcement action taken at the commission staff level.
(d) The commission shall implement the safety enforcement program for gas safety by July 1, 2014, and implement the safety enforcement program for electrical safety no later than January 1, 2015.
(e) This section does not apply to an exempt wholesale generator, a qualifying small power producer, or qualifying cogenerator, as defined in Section 796 of Title 16 of the United States Code and the regulations enacted pursuant thereto. Nothing in this section affects the commission’s authority pursuant to Section 761.3.