ALBANY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week that his office has launched an investigation into the preparedness and response of utility companies after delays in service following sever weather events.
Specifically, Cuomo is talking about downstate storms caused more than 590,000 New York homes and businesses to lose power, some for as long as 10 days.
“In the wake of recent storms, it is abundantly clear that some utilities failed to meet our expectations,” Governor Cuomo said. “Given the number of prolonged outages, I directed the Department of Public Service to investigate the utilities’ preparations and response to the storms. New York will hold these utility companies accountable, and we will take action to ensure that outages like the ones experienced in March do not happen again.”
Notification letters were delivered to utility CEOs after storm damage restorations were completed.
In the letter to CEOs, the Department of Public Service stated that it will conduct a comprehensive investigation of the companies’ preparation and response to those events, including all aspects of the companies’ filed and approved emergency plans.
The investigation includes an evaluation under the Public Service Commission’s emergency response scorecard, a regulatory tool developed following Superstorm Sandy to gather data and access utility performance. Utility filings of scorecard data are due in 30 days.
Under Department rules, an emergency response performance assessment must also be completed by each company and filed within 60 days.
The public will have an opportunity to attend and participate in public statement hearings which will be held to provide input into the investigation, as well as comment on the companies’ restoration efforts.