Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement concerning the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) decision finding CL&P's response to Tropical Storm Irene and the October nor'easter to be "deficient and inadequate' and providing for possible sanctions against the company:
"Last year's storms were a nightmare for Connecticut residents, and the response from Northeast Utilities was unacceptable. Today, PURA is echoing the earlier findings of the Two Storm Panel, the Witt report, and hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents who experienced extended power outages after each storm. It is clear that Northeast Utilities did not prepare for outages of this magnitude and did not build adequate capacity to respond. I applaud PURA's careful deliberation on this issue.
"We have taken steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. Earlier this year, the legislature passed my comprehensive storm package that increased standards and benchmarks for utility company both before and after a storm or other disaster. Those standards will ensure that we have enough boots on the ground to adequately prepare for and respond to whatever mother nature throws our way next."
Public Act 12-148, An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response, which was signed into law by Governor Malloy last month, will:
Establish standards for the utility, telecommunication, and cable companies during emergency events and also establishes penalties in the event the companies do not meet these standards;
Require utility companies, telecommunication companies, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Service Providers to submit emergency plans for restoring service;
Create a microgrid pilot program to be administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection;
Study the feasibility of requiring backup power for telecommunications towers and antennas;
Encourage the coordination of underground infrastructure projects; and
Require the development of procedures to expedite the process of road-clearing following an emergency.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) will hold a statewide emergency preparedness drill next week. Additional information is forthcoming.