Cuomo to hold utility companies accountable after Isaias failure

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will propose legislation to hold utilities accountable for failures to effectively respond to future power outages.

News 12 Staff

Aug 25, 2020, 10:17 AM

Updated 1,368 days ago

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New legislation could be on the way to hold utility companies accountable after their failed response to Tropical Storm Isaias. 
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Hundreds of thousands New Yorkers were in the dark for days earlier this month when the storm tore through the Hudson Valley.
As a result, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will propose legislation to hold utilities accountable for failures to effectively respond to future power outages.
The proposed law would increase the current legal limits on penalties. Current law limits penalties to $100,000. He says some of the utility companies have the attitude of "too big to fail," and says, "If they're not providing the service, then fire them." He says New York's laws are "too protective of the utility companies," and says, "that has to change."
The legislation also creates a streamlined process for the cancellation of a utility's operating certificate for recurring failures. "We don't pay just for the utility companies to function on a nice day. The essence of what we pay for is be ready for a storm, be able to handle a storm," says Cuomo.
In addition, the bill will require utilities to clearly communicate with customers during outages and give accurate information regarding power restoration. This information is critical for people to make informed decisions and plans based on the time of the outage.
People who have spoken to News 12 say there's nothing wrong with putting some pressure on the utility companies to do a better job because nobody wants a repeat of what happened earlier this month. "We understand there are storms, but it's important to be prepared for those things," says David Aquije, of West Harrison.
YOUR PHOTOS: Tropical Storm Isaias
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