Assembly Panel Grills Regulator on Utilities' Storm Response Plans
The hard questions aren't going away, and it appears as if the agency needs to come up with better answers
It’s been quite a while since the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities appeared before the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, but staffers showed up yesterday to talk about what they were doing to improve the utilities’ response to major storms, such as Hurricane Sandy.
It may be some time before they show up again.
Kristie Izzo, secretary for the BPU, was peppered with tough questions again and again from committee members dealing with the agency’s efforts to improve communication between utilities, customers, and local officials during extreme weather. That has been a recurring complaint not just throughout the recent superstorm, but also during events in 2011, like Hurricane Irene and a rare October snowstorm.
In fairness to Izzo, her expertise at the BPU falls far from directing storm response or generating preparedness plans, which often left her unable to answer the committee’s questions, but promising to forward answers soon.
The hearing, however, seemed to raise questions about whether lawmakers and the Christie administration are on the same path to dealing with problems posed by major storms.
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