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AB-2179 Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/11/2020 09:00 PM
AB2179:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2179


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 11, 2020


An act to amend Section 8385 of, and to add Section 8386.9 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2179, as introduced, Levine. Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to establish rules for all public utilities, subject to control by the Legislature. Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare and submit a wildfire mitigation plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. Following approval, the commission is required to oversee compliance with the plans. 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, as well as protocols related to mitigating the public safety impacts of those protocols, including impacts on critical first responders and on health and communications infrastructure. Existing law requires a wildfire mitigation plan of an electrical corporation to also include appropriate and feasible procedures for notifying a customer who may be impacted by the deenergizing of electrical lines and requires these procedures to consider the need to notify, as a priority, critical first responders, health care facilities, and operators of telecommunications infrastructure with premises within the footprint of potential deenergization event.
If the commission approves a wildfire mitigation plan that authorizes an electrical corporation to deenergize portions of the electrical grid, this bill would require the commission to adopt rules requiring an electrical corporation, upon request from an entity of local government with responsibility for mitigating public safety impacts of a deenergization event, as defined, to provide or make available to that entity information relative to those customers receiving or determined to be eligible to receive medical baseline rates, as specified, that may lose electrical service during the deenergization event. The bill would require an entity of local government receiving that information to comply with all applicable state and federal laws for the protection of the privacy and security of the information.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill require action by the commission to implement its requirements, a violation of these provisions would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
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 8385 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8385.
 (a) For purposes of this chapter, the following shall apply:
(1) “Compliance period” means a period of approximately one year.
(2) “Deenergization event” means the proactive interruption of electrical service for the purpose of mitigating or avoiding the risk of causing a wildfire.

(2)

(3) “Electrical cooperative” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2776.
(b) The commission shall supervise an electrical corporation’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter pursuant to the Public Utilities Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) of Division 1). Nothing in this chapter affects the commission’s authority or jurisdiction over an electrical cooperative or local publicly owned electrical corporation. electric utility.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8386.9 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8386.9.
 (a) If the commission approves a wildfire mitigation plan that authorizes an electrical corporation to deenergize portions of the electrical grid, the commission shall adopt rules requiring the electrical corporation, upon request from an entity of local government with responsibility for mitigating public safety impacts of a deenergization event, to provide or make available to that entity information relative to those customers receiving or determined to be eligible to receive medical baseline rates pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 739 that may lose electrical service during the deenergization event.
(b) An entity of local government receiving or accessing information pursuant to this section relative to persons receiving or eligible to receive medical baseline rates shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws for the protection of the privacy and security of the information, including, but not limited to, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191) and the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, Title XIII of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), and implementing regulations.

SEC. 3.

 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.