20 Aug 2020
Joint Public Hearing: To address the emergency storm response and customer communication by utilities located in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and the greater Hudson Valley post Tropical Storm Isaias
Online Virtual Public Hearing
Joint – Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications
Chair: Senator Kevin Parker
and Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation
Chair: Senator Todd Kaminsky
Joint – Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
Chair: Senator Leroy Comrie
and Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs
Chair: Senator John E. Brooks
and Standing Committee on Local Government
Chair: Senator James Gaughran
and Standing Committee Committee on Cities
Chair: Senator Robert Jackson
and Assembly Standing Committee on Committee on Energy
Chair: Assembly Member Michael J. Cusick
and Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation
Chair: Assembly Member Steve Englebright
and Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
Chair: Assembly Member Amy Paulin
and Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations
Chair: Assembly Member Kenneth Zebrowski
and Assembly Standing Committee on Local Governments
Chair: Assembly Member Fred W. Thiele, Jr.
and Assembly Standing Committee on Cities
Chair: Assembly Member Edward C. Braunstein
Public Hearing: To address the emergency storm response and customer communication by utilities located in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and the greater Hudson Valley post Tropical Storm Isaias.
Place: Online : https://www.nysenate.gov/events; https://www.nyassembly.gov/av/live/
Time: 11:00 A.M.
Contact: Robert Haberman 518-455-2484
Media Contact: Senate Majority Press Office (518) 455-2415
Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888
ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY
SUBJECT: Power and communication failures from Tropical Storm Isaias
PURPOSE: To receive testimony on the electricity outages and communication failures following Tropical Storm Isaias.
On August 4th, Tropical Storm Isaias hit New York with heavy rain, tornadoes, and winds gusting up to 70 miles per hour. The storm left hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without power across New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, the Hudson Valley, and other areas of the state within the service territories of PSEG-LI, Con Edison, Orange and Rockland, National Grid, Central Hudson, NYSEG and other utility providers. The storm also disrupted the regions’ telephone, cable, and internet services--services that are particularly essential for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outages and service disruptions lasted for multiple days, and in some areas of the State many homes and businesses are still waiting to be reconnected. With the increased frequency of extreme weather, it will be important for utility and telecommunications providers to more readily and effectively respond to emergencies.
The Committees will receive testimony on the widespread outages, communication failures, and emergency response plans of the region’s utility and telecommunication providers. The hearing will gather information on utility and telecommunication provider storm preparedness; the pre-storm steps taken to protect the electric distribution grid and critical telecommunications infrastructure; the causes of the outages and service disruptions; the reasons for the lengthy post-storm repair, restoration of service and reconnection of customers; the extent of coordination between utility and telecommunication providers and municipalities in restoring service; and the reasons for the loss of customer service communication during and after the storm. The hearing will be conducted remotely in compliance with current COVID-19 guidance.
Persons invited to testify should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible so that they may be informed how testimony will be received and can be notified in the event of hearing postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes’ duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Attendees and participants at any legislative public hearing should be aware that these proceedings are video recorded. Their likenesses may be included in any video coverage shown on television or the internet.
In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee’s interest in hearing testimony from all sources.