ATTORNEY GENERAL CALLS FOR MANAGEMENT AUDIT
OF CL&P AS PART OF REVIEW BY UTILITY REGULATORS
(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen has asked state utility regulators to include an independent management audit of Connecticut Light & Power Co. as part of its review of the utility’s preparedness for and response to major outage events.
“In less than two years, CL&P has failed adequately to prepare for and respond to three major outage events,” the Attorney General said in a filing with the Public Utilities Control Authority. The events included a March 12, 2010 storm that hit southwest Connecticut; Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 27-28, 2011 and the early snow storm on Oct. 29, 2011 that caused widespread damage and left much of the state without power for an extended period.
“PURA must consider and examine whether CL&P management handled these outage events competently and what changes should be put in place to ensure that such situations are handled competently in the future,” Jepsen said.
PURA announced last month that it would hire a consultant to provide technical expertise to the Authority’s staff as it conducts the review. The Attorney General said the management audit could provide answers to more fundamental questions, such as: whether the utility was adequately prepared for storms of such magnitude; whether it secured appropriate levels of additional tree and line crews and whether it was prepared to properly supervise and manage the crews called in to assist.
In a separate filing, the Attorney General requested more information about the ownership of utility poles in Connecticut’s power distribution network and the policies and procedures for inspecting, maintaining and replacing this critical equipment.
He directed the questions at electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power Co. and United Illuminating Co., as well as telecommunications companies AT&T Connecticut and Verizon New York, Inc. In Connecticut, the electric companies share with the telephone companies the responsibility to maintain utility poles to carry their various service lines to customers.
Assistant Attorneys General Michael C. Wertheimer and John S. Wright are handling this matter for the Attorney General with Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin.
The Attorney General is also participating in a separate review of the electric utilities’ storm related performance by Witt Associates. That review is expected to be completed by Dec. 1.
Susan E. Kinsman
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