Lt. Governor Dan McKee announced his plans to submit legislation that will improve the emergency preparation and response of utility companies operating in Rhode Island.

 

 

**PRESS RELEASE**

Office of Lt. Governor Dan McKee

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 

 

Lt. Gov. McKee to Introduce Legislation to Improve

Utility Company Storm Response

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, Lt. Governor Dan McKee announced his plans to submit legislation that will improve the emergency preparation and response of utility companies operating in Rhode Island.

 

McKee, who serves as Chair of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisory Council, modeled this legislation after Massachusetts law with input from the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers (DPUC), municipal leaders, the League of Cities and Towns and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA). The legislation will be submitted to the General Assembly in the 2018 session.

 

“Rhode Island already experienced one mishandled storm this year and bearing in mind tomorrow’s forecast, the time to pass legislation is now,” said McKee. “This is a common-sense plan to hold the utility company accountable and protect Rhode Island families and businesses in the case of an emergency. If the utility company can abide by similar guidelines in Massachusetts, they should do the same in Rhode Island.”

 

The legislation will include five main provisions: 

 

  • Performance standards: The DPUC will establish performance standards for acceptable emergency preparation and response for investor-owned utility companies. Failure to meet the standards will result in penalties of up to $100,000 daily per violation.

 

  • Emergency response plans: Utility companies will be required to submit annual emergency response plans to the DPUC. Failure to file will result in a fine of $500 per day. If the utility company fails to follow the emergency response plan, the company may not recover its storm-associated costs by charging the ratepayers.

 

  • Credits for ratepayers: All fines paid by utility companies for violating this legislation will be credited back to Rhode Island ratepayers.

 

  • RIEMA liaison: Investor-owned utility companies must designate an employee to be present at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency when the State Emergency Operations Center is activated.

 

  • Community liaisons: Investor-owned utility companies must designate an employee to serve as a community liaison for each municipality. Each community liaison will provide cities and towns with at least 3 outage reports per day.

 

Over the next 48 hours, the Lt. Governor’s Office will be working with RIEMA and the Governor’s Office to help provide consistent storm information to Rhode Islanders. For winter weather updates, warming center/shelter information and updates on closings, delays and parking bans, visit www.riema.ri.gov.

 

 

 
 
 

 

Media Contact: Andrea Palagi | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (401) 222-2371

 

 

Connect with the Lieutenant Governor on Social Media

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Lieutenant Governor's Office | 82 Smith Street, Providence , RI 02903

    

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is calling for a halt to any further proceedings of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination after new allegations of sexual misconduct. In a letter to Republican chairman Chuck Grassley, Senator Dianne Feinstein [[ Fine-stine ]] says the accusation reported in The New Yorker magazine should be referred to the FBI for investigation. A woman named Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her when he was a freshman at Yale University.        The latest tariffs against China are now in effect. The Trump administration announced last week plans to hit 200-billion-dollars worth of Chinese imports with ten-percent tariffs. The penalty will jump to 25-percent at the end of the year.        Bill Cosby may have just had his last weekend of freedom. A sentencing hearing for the legendary comedian begins today in a Philadelphia suburb. Cosby was found guilty in April of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University athletics staffer Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.        Apple is turning down a streaming series based on the life of Dr. Dre because CEO Tim Cook felt it was too dark and violent. The show, Vital Signs, reportedly had drug use, guns and an orgy. Cook personally nixed picking up the show and the Wall Street Journal says it's because he doesn't want to cause any damage to Apple's consumer product sales. The streaming service is tentatively scheduled for a March 2019 debut.        A few massive upsets set the stage for a crazy Sunday during Week Three. The Bills shocked the Vikings 27-6, the Titans stunned the Jaguars 9-6 and the Lions punished the Patriots 26-10. New Orleans beat the Falcons 43-37 in OT to cap a wild shootout, while the Dolphins improved to 3-and-0 with a 28-20 victory against the Raiders.        There are reports Toyota is ready to hook up with Android Auto. Bloomberg reports the Japanese auto giant will soon support Android Auto. That's the technology that, along with Apple CarPlay, brings the phone experience onto the dashboard to cut down distraction. Toyota isn't commenting but Bloomberg cites a source who says the announcement could come as soon as next week.