TRENTON – State Sen. Robert Singer is introducing three bills today aimed at improving response by public utility companies in natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy.
“Many of New Jersey’s Sandy victims have cause to be upset about being without power for weeks or several days, and there are others who should be grateful their utilities were promptly restored,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “No matter the overall effectiveness of utility responses during and after Superstorm Sandy, we should not fail to adopt initiatives to assure that no one suffered in vain and we are best prepared for future catastrophes.”
“This legislation brings vital accountability to public utility companies and also mitigates tremendous pressure on them to immediately restore utilities to millions of customers by encouraging public and private entities to be prepared with backup power generators,” Singer added.
Singer’s three bills:
- Direct the state Board of Public Utilities to adopt best practices and standards for public utility disaster response.
- Permit certain public entities, nonprofits and businesses to qualify for BPU grants or low-interest loans to pay for alternative power generators, and requires the state Office of Emergency Management to develop specifications concerning the installation, use and safety of alternative generators.
- Require electric public utilities to repair or install street lights owned or operated by that utility within 72 hours of municipal notification. Violators would be liable for $50 fine per day.
These measures will be sponsored in the Assembly by Sean T. Kean and David P. Rible.
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