NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1008A
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill would require New York's combination gas and electrical utili-
ties to create and implement 10-year storm hardening and system resili-
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Legislative findings.
Section 2. Section 66 of the Public Service Law would be amended to
require every combination gas and electrical utility corporation regu-
lated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to submit a storm hardening
and system resiliency plan ("plan") that covers the immediate ten-year
period to the PSC. Each plan shall explain the approach the corporation
will follow to achieve mitigate restoration costs and reduce outage
times associated with extreme weather events and enhancing reliability.
The PSC shall adopt rules to specify the elements that must be included
in a corporation's plan, and either approve or modify said plan within
11 months of submission based on statutory criteria, such as the esti-
mated annual rate impact resulting from plan implementation. Each corpo-
ration must file an updated storm plan with the PSC for approval at
least every 5 years. Each corporation must file their most recently
approved plan with each county in their respective service territories.
The costs for implementing the plan may be recovered separately from
such corporation's base rates as a separate annual charge, subject to
approval by the PSC in an annual proceeding if the PSC determines such
costs are fair, reasonable, and prudent. The PSC shall submit an annual
report to the Governor and Legislature on the status of each subject
corporation's storm protection activities.
Section 3. This act shall take effect 180 days after becoming law. The
PSC may promulgate any rules or regulates necessary for implementation
of this act on or before the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
Due to the rise in storm intensity, dedicated storm hardening programs
need to be developed and implemented by electric utility companies
throughout the State to reduce damage, restorations times, and costs
from future weather events. Storm hardening is the process of construct-
ing new, or upgrading old, infrastructure to increase resiliency and
overall reliability of service during weather events. In 2018, Winter
Storm Riley and Winter Storm Quinn greatly impacted New York's elec-
trical distribution system with nearly 500,000 customers losing power.
An investigation by the Department of Public Service recommended New
York's major electrical utilities create and implement storm hardening
and system resiliency plans by July 2019; however, the Public Service
Commission has been unduly slow in their approval of submitted plan. In
August 2020, Tropical Storm Isaias brought high winds, downed trees and
widespread outages to much of the state; hundreds of thousands of
customers in Long Island, New York City, Westchester and Rockland coun-
ties experienced prolonged outages, some lasting more than a week.
Legislative hearings following these storms made it clear that storm
hardening efforts are needed to mitigate some of the impacts to the
distribution infrastructure and customers. By requiring electrical util-
ities to adopt and implement such hardening and resiliency plans and the
Public Service Commission to approve such plans within a fixed timeline,
New Yorkers will be better prepared to endure and recover from future
extreme weather events.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This bill shall take effect 180 days after becoming law. The PSC may
promulgate any rules or regulates necessary for implementation of this
act on or before the effective date.