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Cities Encouraged to Submit Comments for CPUC New Wildfire Mitigation Plans

November 13, 2018
The League is urging cities to submit comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding new rulemaking that will require utilities to develop wildfire mitigation plans.
 
This new utility requirement is a result of League-supported SB 901 (Dodd), which requires utilities to develop new wildfire mitigation plans and submit those plans to the CPUC for review and approval. The CPUC has begun rulemaking to provide guidance to utilities and a process for reviewing the plans.
 
Stakeholder input will assist in determining the scope of the proceeding and will be integral to the review of final plans. SB 901 made utility wildfire mitigation plans central to California’s strategy to prevent and prepare for catastrophic wildfires and stakeholder input is crucial.
 
Participation in this proceeding is an opportunity for local communities to provide guidance on wildfire plan components including:
  • Wildfire prevention strategies for electric utilities;
  • Protocols for mitigating impacts of public safety power shutoffs;
  • Utility procedures for maintenance and inspection of lines;
  • Outreach to first responders and customers, including low-income, elderly, disabled, and those with limited English; and
  • Restoration of service after a wildfire. 
In order for the new requirements to be in effect prior to the traditional fire season, CPUC has adopted an expedited schedule for this proceeding. Please be prepared to participate and give input by the following dates. Cities must become a party to the proceeding to submit formal comments. To learn more about becoming a party, please see CPUC’s informational webpage or email public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov for assistance.
  • Nov. 14 – Give comments on the scope of the proceeding and discuss schedule and process at the prehearing conference at 10:30 am in Commission hearing room A, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. The prehearing conference will be webcast at: http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc.
  • Dec. 15 (date subject to change) – Formal comments to instruct the electric utilities on their initial plans are due within 10 days of the Scoping Memo being issued. The Scoping Memo is scheduled to be issued in early December. 
  • Dec. 31 – Submit informal comments between now and Dec. 31 to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov
  • February 2019 – Wildfire mitigation plans are scheduled to be submitted in early February. Formal comments due within 20 days of their submittal. 
Under SB 901 the following utilities are required to develop wildfire mitigation plans: PG&E, Southern California Edison, SDG&E, PacifiCorp/Pacific Power, Liberty Utilities, and Bear Valley/Golden State Water. The required elements of the plans can be found in PUC 8386 (c). These plans will be updated annually. The text of PUC 8386 (c), as well as further information on the scope and schedule of the proceeding can be found in the Order Instituting Rulemaking.
 
You can find further information for the proceeding, including links to all documents and a subscription service on the CPUC website.
 
A GIS version of CPUC’s fire threat map is available online.


 
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