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SB-862 Planned power outage: public safety.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/20/2020 09:00 PM
SB862:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  March 05, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 862


Introduced by Senator Dodd

January 16, 2020


An act to amend Section 8557 of the Government Code, and to amend Section 8386 of, and to add Section 768.9 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 862, as amended, Dodd. Planned power outage: public safety.
Existing law, the California Emergency Services Act, authorizes the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency, and local officials and local governments to proclaim a local emergency, when specified conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist, and authorizes the Governor or the appropriate local government to exercise certain powers in response to that emergency. Existing law defines the terms “state of emergency” and “local emergency” to mean a duly proclaimed existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused by, among other things, fire, storm, or riot.
This bill would additionally include a deenergization event, as defined, within a sudden and severe energy shortage constituting a state of emergency and a local emergency.
Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare a wildfire mitigation plan and to submit its plan to the commission Public Utilities Commission for review and approval, as specified. Following approval, the commission is required to oversee compliance with the plan. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to include, among other things, protocols for deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety, and protocols related to mitigating the public safety impacts of those protocols, including impacts on customers who receive medical baseline allowances.
This bill would require an electrical corporation, as a part of its public safety mitigation protocols, to include protocols that deal specifically with access and functional need needs individuals, as defined, including those individuals who are enrolled in the California Alternative Rates for Energy program, as specified. defined.
The bill would require an electrical corporation to coordinate with local governments in its service territory to identify sites within those jurisdictions where community resource centers can be established and operated during a deenergization event and the level of services that will be available at those centers, as those terms are defined. The bill would require the electrical corporation to perform additional duties in coordination with local governments, including performing any necessary electrical upgrades to ensure that a mobile backup generator can be located at, and provide the necessary electricity for, the community resource center during a deenergization event.

Existing law authorizes an electrical corporation to deploy backup electrical resources or provide financial assistance for backup electrical resources to a customer receiving a medical baseline allowance who meets specified requirements, including that the customer is not eligible for backup electrical resources provided through medical services, medical insurance, on community resources.

This bill would recast those provisions to authorize the electrical corporation to deploy backup resources to a customer, including an individual with an access of functional need, as defined, and would delete the requirement that the customer not be eligible for backup electrical resources from the other providers.

Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of the public utilities provisions this bill would add additional requirements to an electrical corporation’s wildfire mitigation plan that would be approved and overseen by the commission and because a violation by an electrical corporation of an order or decision of the commission implementing these requirements 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8557 of the Government Code is amended to read:

8557.
 (a) “State agency” means any department, division, independent establishment, or agency of the executive branch of the state government.
(b) “Political subdivision” includes any city, city and county, county, district, or other local governmental agency or public agency authorized by law.
(c) “Governing body” means the legislative body, trustees, or directors of a political subdivision.
(d) “Chief executive” means that individual authorized by law to act for the governing body of a political subdivision.
(e) “Disaster council” and “disaster service worker” have the meaning prescribed in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3201) of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Labor Code.
(f) “Public facility” means any facility of the state or a political subdivision, which facility is owned, operated, or maintained, or any combination thereof, through moneys derived by taxation or assessment.
(g) “Sudden and severe energy shortage” means either of the following:
(1) A rapid, unforeseen shortage of energy, resulting from, but not limited to, events such as an embargo, sabotage, or natural disasters, and which has statewide, regional, or local impact.
(2) A deenergization event.
(h) For purposes of this section, a “deenergization event” means a planned power outage, undertaken by an electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code, to reduce the risk of wildfires caused by utility equipment, pursuant to Public Utilities Commission Resolution ESRB-8 and any decisions issued by the commission, the Wildfire Safety Division, as set forth in Section 326 of the Public Utilities Code, the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, or any other agency with authority over electrical corporations. A deenergization event commences when an electrical corporation provides notice to any state agency or political subdivision of the potential need to initiate a planned deenergization of the electrical grid, and ceases when the electrical corporation restores electrical services to all deenergized customers, or at such time as the electrical corporation cancels the power outage for some or all of its affected customers, and rescinds the notice of the potential need to initiate the deenergization event.

SEC. 2.

 Section 768.9 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

768.9.
 (a) For purposes of this section, all of the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Community resource center” means a facility that is jointly identified by an electrical corporation and a local government as being capable of providing resources and services to individuals during a deenergization event. With the agreement of the property owner or lessee of the facility, a community resource center may include, but not be limited to a library, senior center, sports center, community center, convention center, fairground, or school cafeteria or gymnasium.
(2) “Local government” means a city, county, or city and county.
(3) “Deenergization event” has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (h) of Section 8557 of the Government Code.
(b) (1) (A) An electrical corporation shall coordinate with local governments in its service territory to identify sites within those jurisdictions where community resource centers can be established and operated during a deenergization event and the level of services that will be available at those centers.
(B) The electrical corporation shall perform any necessary electrical upgrades to ensure that a mobile backup generator can be located at, and provide the necessary electricity for, the site during a deenergization event. The electrical corporation shall provide a mobile backup generator at the beginning of a deenergization event if the both of the following conditions are met:
(i) The community resource center is not otherwise equipped with a backup generator.
(ii) The electrical corporation determines that a deenergization event is expected to result in loss of electricity at the community resource center.
(2) An electrical corporation shall site community resource centers, to the maximum extent practicable, at existing facilities that have adequate capacity to meet the community needs identified by the applicable local government. government, within the guidelines as adopted by the commission. A community resource center shall be located within a reasonable distance of the communities it is intended to serve.
(3) An electrical corporation shall enter into agreements with the owners of those facilities identified as community resource centers to ensure that community resource centers can be opened upon initiation of a deenergization event in that jurisdiction.
(4) A community resource center shall be open and accessible 24 hours per day day, if the county emergency services officer determines those hours are necessary. The community resource center shall remain in operation on a daily basis from the time a deenergization event is initiated until service restoration is completed in the jurisdiction, or at such time as a county emergency services officer determines there is no further need for the community resource center to remain in operation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8386 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8386.
 (a) Each electrical corporation shall construct, maintain, and operate its electrical lines and equipment in a manner that will minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire posed by those electrical lines and equipment.
(b) Each electrical corporation shall annually prepare and submit a wildfire mitigation plan to the Wildfire Safety Division for review and approval. In calendar year 2020, and thereafter, the plan shall cover at least a three-year period. The division shall establish a schedule for the submission of subsequent comprehensive wildfire mitigation plans, which may allow for the staggering of compliance periods for each electrical corporation. In its discretion, the division may allow the annual submissions to be updates to the last approved comprehensive wildfire mitigation plan; provided, that each electrical corporation shall submit a comprehensive wildfire mitigation plan at least once every three years.
(c) The wildfire mitigation plan shall include all of the following:
(1) An accounting of the responsibilities of persons responsible for executing the plan.
(2) The objectives of the plan.
(3) A description of the preventive strategies and programs to be adopted by the electrical corporation to minimize the risk of its electrical lines and equipment causing catastrophic wildfires, including consideration of dynamic climate change risks.
(4) A description of the metrics the electrical corporation plans to use to evaluate the plan’s performance and the assumptions that underlie the use of those metrics.
(5) A discussion of how the application of previously identified metrics to previous plan performances has informed the plan.
(6) Protocols for disabling reclosers and deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety. As part of these protocols, each electrical corporation shall include protocols related to mitigating the public safety impacts of disabling reclosers and deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the impacts on all of the following:
(A) Critical first responders.
(B) Health and communication infrastructure.
(C) Access and functional needs individuals as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 8593.3 of the Government Code, and customers (i) Customers who receive medical baseline allowances pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 739. The electrical corporation may deploy backup electrical resources or provide financial assistance for backup electrical resources to an access and functional needs individual and a customer receiving a medical baseline allowance when the individual or customer demonstrates financial need, including, but not limited to, enrollment in the California Alternative Rates for Energy program created pursuant to Section 739.1 and meets either for a customer who meets all of the following requirements:

(i)

(I) The individual or customer relies on life support equipment that operates on electricity to sustain life.

(ii)The individual or customer is a person with a disability or an access and functional need.

(II) The customer demonstrates financial need, including through enrollment in the California Alternate Rates for Energy program created pursuant to Section 739.1.
(III) The customer is not eligible for backup electrical resources provided through medical services, medical insurance, or community resources.

(D)Subparagraph (C)

(ii) Clause (i) shall not be construed as preventing an electrical corporation from deploying backup electrical resources or providing financial assistance for backup electrical resources under any other authority.
(D) Access and functional needs individuals, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 8593.3 of Government Code. The electrical corporation shall work with stakeholders and local governments to develop protocols which shall include, but not be limited to, improved outreach to individuals with access and functional needs in order to prepare for deenergization events, including information about available resources that may provide backup power or financial assistance for backup power, and information pertaining to the location of, access to, and services provided at, community resource centers, as defined in Section 768.9.
(7) Appropriate and feasible procedures for notifying a customer who may be impacted by the deenergizing of electrical lines, including procedures for access and functional needs individuals and customers and those customers receiving a medical baseline allowance as described in paragraph (6). The procedures shall direct notification to all public safety offices, critical first responders, health care facilities, and operators of telecommunications infrastructure with premises within the footprint of potential deenergization for a given event.
(8) Plans for vegetation management.
(9) Plans for inspections of the electrical corporation’s electrical infrastructure.
(10) Protocols for the deenergization of the electrical corporation’s transmission infrastructure, for instances when the deenergization may impact customers who, or entities that, are dependent upon the infrastructure.
(11) A list that identifies, describes, and prioritizes all wildfire risks, and drivers for those risks, throughout the electrical corporation’s service territory, including all relevant wildfire risk and risk mitigation information that is part of the Safety Model Assessment Proceeding and the Risk Assessment Mitigation Phase filings. The list shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(A) Risks and risk drivers associated with design, construction, operations, and maintenance of the electrical corporation’s equipment and facilities.
(B) Particular risks and risk drivers associated with topographic and climatological risk factors throughout the different parts of the electrical corporation’s service territory.
(12) A description of how the plan accounts for the wildfire risk identified in the electrical corporation’s Risk Assessment Mitigation Phase filing.
(13) A description of the actions the electrical corporation will take to ensure its system will achieve the highest level of safety, reliability, and resiliency, and to ensure that its system is prepared for a major event, including hardening and modernizing its infrastructure with improved engineering, system design, standards, equipment, and facilities, such as undergrounding, insulation of distribution wires, and pole replacement.
(14) A description of where and how the electrical corporation considered undergrounding electrical distribution lines within those areas of its service territory identified to have the highest wildfire risk in a commission fire threat map.
(15) A showing that the electrical corporation has an adequately sized and trained workforce to promptly restore service after a major event, taking into account employees of other utilities pursuant to mutual aid agreements and employees of entities that have entered into contracts with the electrical corporation.
(16) Identification of any geographic area in the electrical corporation’s service territory that is a higher wildfire threat than is currently identified in a commission fire threat map, and where the commission should consider expanding the high fire threat district based on new information or changes in the environment.
(17) A methodology for identifying and presenting enterprisewide safety risk and wildfire-related risk that is consistent with the methodology used by other electrical corporations unless the commission determines otherwise.
(18) A description of how the plan is consistent with the electrical corporation’s disaster and emergency preparedness plan prepared pursuant to Section 768.6, including both of the following:
(A) Plans to prepare for, and to restore service after, a wildfire, including workforce mobilization and prepositioning equipment and employees.
(B) Plans for community outreach and public awareness before, during, and after a wildfire, including language notification in English, Spanish, and the top three primary languages used in the state other than English or Spanish, as determined by the commission based on the United States Census data.
(19) A statement of how the electrical corporation will restore service after a wildfire.
(20) Protocols for compliance with requirements adopted by the commission regarding activities to support customers during and after a wildfire, outage reporting, support for low-income customers, billing adjustments, deposit waivers, extended payment plans, suspension of disconnection and nonpayment fees, repair processing and timing, access to electrical corporation representatives, and emergency communications.
(21) A description of the processes and procedures the electrical corporation will use to do all of the following:
(A) Monitor and audit the implementation of the plan.
(B) Identify any deficiencies in the plan or the plan’s implementation and correct those deficiencies.
(C) Monitor and audit the effectiveness of electrical line and equipment inspections, including inspections performed by contractors, carried out under the plan and other applicable statutes and commission rules.
(22) Any other information that the Wildfire Safety Division may require.
(d) The Wildfire Safety Division shall post all wildfire mitigation plans and annual updates on the commission’s internet website for no less than two months before the division’s decision regarding approval of the plan. The division shall accept comments on each plan from the public, other local and state agencies, and interested parties, and verify that the plan complies with all applicable rules, regulations, and standards, as appropriate.

SEC. 4.

 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.