senate Bill S1537

2013-2014 Legislative Session

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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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to energy and telecommunications
Jan 09, 2013 referred to energy and telecommunications

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S1537 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8762
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Add §98-a, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1777A, A6181A
2009-2010: S7469, A10577

S1537 - Bill Texts

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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 NUMBER:S1537

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 $
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 200,000 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 300,000 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 01/12/11: Referred to Energy and
Telecommunications 06/08/11: Amended and recommitted to Energy and
Telecommunications, Print number 1777A 01/04/12: Referred to Energy
and Telecommunications

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1537

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. PERKINS, ADDABBO, AVELLA, CARLUCCI, DILAN, HASSELL-
  THOMPSON,  LANZA,  MONTGOMERY,  PERALTA,  RIVERA,  SAVINO,   STAVISKY,
  STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications

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:
  S 98-A. SAFETY AND  RELIABILITY  INSPECTION.  1.  THE  PUBLIC  SERVICE
COMMISSION  SHALL,  WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  OF  THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04233-01-3

S. 1537                             2

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
GOVERNOR,  THE  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT  OF  THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE

S. 1537                             3

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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