senate Bill S1777A

Requires a safety and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 12 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 08 / Jun / 2011
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 08 / Jun / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 1777A
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Summary

Requires a safety and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers and the replacement or removal of deficient poles.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S1777
S1777A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Add §98-a, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7469

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1777A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a
safety and reliability
inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations
providing telephone
service to more than one million subscribers
and requiring a safety and reliability inspection of all utility
poles used by electric corporations providing electric service to over
300,000 customers and the replacement or
removal of deficient
poles

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to ensure that there is a plan in place by
any telephone corporation in NYS that services more than one million
subscribers and electric corporations serving over 300,000 customers
to conduct a study and implement a plan of action to remove the
growing number of old unsafe telephone and electric poles in
communities throughout the state or face a mandatory minimum fine for
inaction.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 2 amends public service law by adding a new section 98-a that
calls for the PSC to require telephone corporations providing
telephone service to more than one million subscribers to conduct a
safety and reliability study of all telephone poles used for
telephone service and electric corporations serving over 300,000
customers and electric poles and report the total number of poles per
county, the total number of poles split or shattered, the number of
poles severed or partially severed and the number of poles "strapped"
or declared unsafe within language in this new subdivision. The study
will be completed within 120 days of the effective date of this
section and upon completion the study will be submitted to the public
service commission, the governor, the temporary president of the
senate, the speaker of the assembly and the standing chairs of the
assembly and senate committee on corporations, authorities and
commissions. Replace of unsafe poles will be made by experience
employees and fines of S 150 per month per un-replaced pole shall be
assessed against each telephone and electric pole that a telephone
corporation serving more than one million subscribers, or an electric
corporation serving over 300,000 customers has
identified as unsafe or noncompliant.

JUSTIFICATION:
This bill would require the Public Service Commission to initiate a
rule-making to establish mandatory minimum fines for unsafe double
pole conditions; an inventory and study of double pole conditions by
telephone corporations serving over 1 million subscribers and
electric corporations serving over 300,000 customers; and timely
removal by properly trained and experienced telephone and electric
utility workers of double pole conditions.


Aging or damaged telephone and electric poles pose a threat to public
and utility worker safety and must be replaced. When they are
replaced with new poles and wiring is transferred to the new pole,
the old telephone or electric pole must be removed to protect public
and worker safety. When the old telephone or electric pole is not
removed, it creates an unsafe and unsightly "double" pole condition.

Currently, there are many thousands of aging "double" telephone and
electric poles littering the state.
Many double telephone and electric poles have been in place for years
despite complaints by
municipalities, residents and the telephone workers union. Double
poles are also found on both public and private property.

The Public Service Commission has had a proceeding on double poles
since June of 2008 (Case 08-M0593). The Public Service Commission
proceeding initiated on double pole conditions has not produced
either a remedy or an inventory of double pole conditions.

As the Public Service Commission's proceeding has continued, many more
double poles have being created throughout New York State where the
telephone corporation serving over 1 million subscribers or the
electric companies serving over 300,000 customers has failed to
remove the old poles.

Aging and damaged utility poles are at risk of toppling over or
falling. Utility workers are unable to safely climb double poles and
therefore network operations are impaired. Property values are
impaired by double poles. Telephone and electric poles are also
filled with wood preservatives that may leach into the ground,
potentially damaging environmental quality and public health.

Telephone corporations serving over 1 million subscribers and electric
corporations serving over 300,00 customers should not be allowed to
create these avoidable unsafe and unsightly conditions. An inventory
of existing conditions, mandatory minimum fines, and requirements for
timely removal of double poles conditions are needed to remedy the
problem.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
04/08/10 Referred to Corporations, Authorities and Commissions

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1777--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 12, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. PERKINS, ADDABBO, AVELLA, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON,
  LANZA,   MONTGOMERY,   OPPENHEIMER,   PERALTA,    RIVERA,    STAVISKY,
  STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be  committed  to  the  Committee  on Energy and Telecommunications --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a safe-
  ty and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone
  corporations  providing  telephone  service  to  more than one million
  subscribers and requiring a safety and reliability inspection  of  all
  utility poles used by electric corporations providing electric service
  to  over 300,000 customers and the replacement or removal of deficient
  poles

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby declares that
unsafe, inadequate or unreliable telephone and electrical utility  poles
are  a  danger to the general public and to telecommunications and elec-
trical utility workers; that such telephone and electrical utility poles
impair the effective delivery of telecommunications services;  and  that
the public interest requires increased oversight of the safety and reli-
ability  of  jurisdictional  telecommunications  and  electrical utility
services carried over or by above ground telephone and electrical utili-
ty lines, as such are defined in article 1 of the  public  service  law;
and  that  the public interest requires a set of minimum fines to ensure
compliance with this statute by each telephone corporation serving  over
one  million  subscribers  and  each  electric  corporation serving over
300,000 subscribers.
  S 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 98-a to
read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07005-03-1

S. 1777--A                          2

  S 98-A. SAFETY AND  RELIABILITY  INSPECTION.  1.  THE  PUBLIC  SERVICE
COMMISSION  SHALL,  WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  OF  THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SECTION, REQUIRE TELEPHONE CORPORATIONS PROVIDING TELEPHONE  SERVICE  TO
MORE  THAN  ONE  MILLION  SUBSCRIBERS, AND ELECTRIC CORPORATIONS SERVING
OVER  THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND CUSTOMERS, TO CONDUCT A STUDY OF THE SAFETY
AND RELIABILITY OF ALL TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES USED BY SUCH  CORPO-
RATIONS  TO  PROVIDE  TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC SERVICE WITHIN THE STATE OF
NEW YORK, AND TO REPORT UPON THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:
  (A) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES PER COUNTY;
  (B) THE NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES WITHIN EACH COUNTY THAT
ARE SPLIT OR SHATTERED FOR MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE LENGTH OF  SUCH
POLES;
  (C)  THE  NUMBER  OF  TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES PER COUNTY THAT ARE
SEVERED OR PARTIALLY SEVERED FROM THEIR BASE;
  (D) THE NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES  PER  COUNTY  THAT  ARE
ATTACHED  DIRECTLY  TO OTHER TELEPHONE POLES ("STRAPPED") BY MEANS OTHER
THAN THE UTILITY LINES CONNECTING SUCH POLES;
  (E) THE NUMBER OF STRAPPED POLES, OF WHICH EITHER OR  BOTH  POLES  ARE
SPLIT  OR  SHATTERED  FOR  MORE  THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE LENGTH OF SUCH
POLES;
  (F) ANY POLES THAT NO LONGER COMPLY WITH ANSI  SAFETY  STANDARD  O5.1;
AND
  (G)  ANY TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES FROM WHICH ALL ELECTRICAL, TELE-
PHONE AND CABLE EQUIPMENT OR ELECTRICAL, TELEPHONE AND CABLE LINES  HAVE
BEEN  PREVIOUSLY  REMOVED  FROM THE POLES AND TO WHICH NO NEW TELEPHONE,
ELECTRICAL OR CABLE PLANT AND EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN ATTACHED FOR  AT  LEAST
THIRTY DAYS.
  2.  TELEPHONE  AND ELECTRIC POLES IDENTIFIED IN SUBDIVISIONS (B), (C),
(D), (E), (F) AND (G) OF  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE
PRESUMED  TO  BE  NO  LONGER SAFE, ADEQUATE OR RELIABLE FOR TELECOMMUNI-
CATIONS AND ELECTRIC SERVICE AND AN ENDANGERMENT TO THE  GENERAL  PUBLIC
AND  TELECOMMUNICATIONS  AND  ELECTRIC  UTILITY  WORKERS,  AND  SHALL BE
SUBJECT TO SUCH STANDARDS FOR REPLACEMENT OF UNSAFE POLES, OR FINES,  OR
BOTH, AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION.
  3.  THE  TELEPHONE  AND  ELECTRIC  POLE  SAFETY  AND RELIABILITY STUDY
REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE COMPLETED  BY  EACH  TELEPHONE  CORPO-
RATION  SERVING  MORE  THAN  ONE  MILLION  SUBSCRIBERS AND EACH ELECTRIC
CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS  WITHIN
ONE  HUNDRED  TWENTY  DAYS  OF  THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION.  THE
TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND  RELIABILITY  STUDY  REQUIRED  BY
THIS  SECTION  SHALL  CONTAIN  SUCH TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC CORPORATION'S
PLAN (THE "CORRECTIVE PLAN") FOR REPLACING, WITHIN THREE HUNDRED  SIXTY-
FIVE   DAYS  OF  THE  ISSUANCE  OF  SUCH  REPORT  (THE  CORRECTIVE  PLAN
"COMPLETION DATE"), ALL POLES SPLIT OR  SHATTERED  FOR  MORE  THAN  FIVE
PERCENT  OF  THE  LENGTH  OF  SUCH POLES, ALL POLES SEVERED OR PARTIALLY
SEVERED FROM THEIR BASE, ALL POLES THAT ARE STRAPPED DIRECTLY  TO  OTHER
TELEPHONE  OR ELECTRIC POLES, ALL POLES FROM WHICH ALL ELECTRICAL, TELE-
PHONE AND CABLE EQUIPMENT OR ELECTRICAL, TELEPHONE AND CABLE LINES  HAVE
BEEN  PREVIOUSLY  REMOVED  FROM THE POLES AND TO WHICH NO NEW TELEPHONE,
ELECTRICAL OR CABLE PLANT AND EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN ATTACHED FOR  AT  LEAST
THIRTY DAYS, (COLLECTIVELY, "UNSAFE" POLES).
  4.  UPON  ITS  COMPLETION,  THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND
RELIABILITY STUDY REQUIRED BY THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE  SUBMITTED  AS  A
REPORT,  BY  EACH  TELEPHONE  CORPORATION  SERVING MORE THAN ONE MILLION
SUBSCRIBERS AND  EACH  ELECTRIC  CORPORATION  SERVING  MORE  THAN  THREE
HUNDRED  THOUSAND  SUBSCRIBERS  TO  THE  PUBLIC  SERVICE COMMISSION, THE

S. 1777--A                          3

GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE  SENATE,  THE  SPEAKER  OF  THE
ASSEMBLY, AND THE CHAIR OF BOTH THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMIT-
TEES ON CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND COMMISSIONS.
  5.  THE  STUDY  TO  BE  COMPLETED BY THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC CORPO-
RATIONS SHALL INCORPORATE REPORTS OF POLES NONCOMPLIANT WITH THE FACTORS
IDENTIFIED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED TO THE  TELEPHONE
AND  ELECTRIC  CORPORATIONS  BY MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, TELEPHONE
CORPORATION UNIONS, AND LOCAL, MUNICIPAL, COUNTY, AND  STATE  GOVERNMENT
AND AGENCIES.
  6. ALL TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLI-
ANT  WITH  ANSI SAFETY STANDARD O5.1, IN THE CORRECTIVE PLAN REQUIRED IN
THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STUDY,  SHALL  BE
REPLACED BY THE TELEPHONE OR THE ELECTRIC CORPORATION OWNING SUCH POLES,
WITHIN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH REPORT.
  7.  REPLACEMENT  OF  THE POLES IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN
THE CORRECTIVE PLAN SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY PROPERLY TRAINED,  EXPERIENCED
AND  EQUIPPED  EMPLOYEES  OF EACH TELEPHONE CORPORATION SERVING OVER ONE
MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AND EACH  ELECTRIC  CORPORATION  SERVING  MORE  THAN
THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS PREPARING THE STUDY.
  8.  A FINE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS PER MONTH PER UN-REPLACED POLE
SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST EACH TELEPHONE POLE THAT  A  TELEPHONE  CORPO-
RATION  SERVING  MORE  THAN  ONE  MILLION  SUBSCRIBERS HAS IDENTIFIED AS
UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN ITS STUDY, AND HAS NOT REPLACED  WITHIN  THREE
HUNDRED  SIXTY-FIVE  DAYS  OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC
POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY REPORT AND FOR EACH ELECTRIC  POLE  THAT  AN
ELECTRIC  CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIB-
ERS HAS IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN ITS STUDY, AND  HAS  NOT
REPLACED  WITHIN  THREE  HUNDRED  SIXTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE
TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY REPORT.
  S 3. The public service commission shall begin, within ninety days  of
the  effective  date  of  this act, a rulemaking proceeding to establish
statewide safety and reliability  standards  for  wooden  telephone  and
electric  poles,  and  to  establish penalties for the violation of such
standards. Penalties for violation of established standards shall not be
less than $150 per month per un-replaced pole. The rulemaking proceeding
to establish statewide safety and reliability standards for wooden tele-
phone and electric poles and to establish penalties for the violation of
such standards shall be completed within one year of its inception.
  S 4. Severability. If any provision of this act,  or  the  application
thereof to any person or circumstance, shall be adjudged by any court of
competent  jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment
shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but  shall
be  confined  in  its  operation to the provision of this act, or in its
application to the person or  circumstance,  directly  involved  in  the
controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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