Lt. Gov. McKee Introduces Legislation to Improve Emergency Preparation

Sunday, January 07, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

Dan McKee
Lt. Governor Dan McKee is planning to submit legislation to improve the emergency preparation and response of utility companies operating in Rhode island.

“Rhode Island already experienced one mishandled storm this year and bearing in mind tomorrow’s forecast, the time to pass legislation is now. 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,” said McKee.

The legislation is modeled after Massachusetts law with input from the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers, municipal leaders, the League of Cities and Towns and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

According to McKee's press release, 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.

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    50-50: 9%

     
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    Mixed: 10%

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    Governor: 3%

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  • Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

    Changed for the better: 35%

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    Good: 28%
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    Never heard of: 1%
    Cannot rate: 3%

     
  • Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?


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  • Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?


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    Fair: 28%
    Poor: 17%
    Never heard of: 13%
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    Excellent: 5%
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    Poor: 10%
    Never heard of: 20%
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