Portantino Introduces Emergency Planning Bill for Utilities

The bill would require all utilities to update their emergency response plan every two years.

A local lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require all utilities to update their emergency response plan every two years.

The bill, AB 1650, was introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino as a response to the November wind storms that resulted in hundreds of thousands losing power.

At recent state hearings, had outdated contact information for state officials.  Edison officials .

The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who represents Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Highland Park, South Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia and other San Gabriel Valley communities.

"We saw in this last disaster that communications were often incomplete or confusing and the public really had no idea what was going on," wrote Portantino in a press release. "We all know the ‘Big One’ is coming--it’s just a matter of when--and we need to be prepared."

In updating their plans every two years, utility officials would be required to hold disaster preparedness meetings with the counties and cities that they serve.  The bill would apply to all gas and electric utilities, not just Southern California Edison.

If the bill is passed and signed into law, the utilities would be required to begin their disaster preparedness meetings within three months of its passage.

Susan R February 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Utility companies should be doing this on their own. Why is a bill needed?
Dan Abendschein February 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Susan, arguably the bill is not needed at the moment. Because of the negative publicity resulting from the windstorms, SoCal Edison has been working hard to update its plans. I would imagine though that Portantino's concern is that after a couple of years Edison and other utilities may neglect their emergency plans, as it now appears they had been doing when the windstorms hit.
Laura Monteros February 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
A bill is needed because some utilities are NOT doing this on their own. The PG&E disaster up north and the windstorms down here underscored their lack of preparation.
Carmen Martinez February 15, 2012 at 05:43 AM
I worked at the Emergency Planning at SCE and we were doing this every two years on our own. I believe it is also CPUC mandated. The CPUC gets the plan when it is completed. Not sure a Bill would update the plan's name and numbers. The plan is outdated as soon as people change jobs...
Lisa Hastings February 15, 2012 at 03:49 PM
That's fine and dandy but as evidenced by the recent protracted outage, people at SCE must have been asleep during their training/planning.


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