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Barger Joins Efforts to Curb Use of Public Safety Power Shutoffs

LOS ANGELES COUNTY —Supervisor Kathryn Barger is supporting the effort by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address concerns of communities throughout Los Angeles County, which continue to experience ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) initiated by Southern California Edison (Edison). The CPUC will hold a public hearing with Edison to ensure transparency regarding their compliance with CPUC rules and requirements and to receive comments from stakeholders.

“This hearing is an important first step to hold Edison accountable to its customers and communities and to fix what is clearly a broken system tied to Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” said Supervisor Barger. “Although we understand that Southern California Edison must balance very real concerns about public safety and impending fire danger when they decide to implement a PSPS event, we believe there is a better way to communicate and mitigate these outages. We look forward to working with the CPUC, Edison, and all of the stakeholders involved, including our impacted community members, to make sure any future PSPS events are as painless as possible.”

During dangerous weather conditions, such as high winds, extreme heat, and low humidity, utility companies such as Edison proactively turn off power in high fire risk areas to reduce the threat of wildfires. These Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) can impact nearly 50,000 households in the San Gabriel, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. With the various health officer orders that have closed schools and forced more individuals to work from home, the devastating impacts of power loss are significant to these community members.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Barger that asked County Counsel to investigate all available legal options for the County to mitigate the impacts of future PSPS events. The motion also sought assistance from the CPUC, the Office of the Governor, and the Los Angeles legislative delegation to address proper notification and communication to impacted communities and to mandate substantial additional mitigation measures as a requirement for the continuation of the PSPS program. A copy of that motion can be found here.

The public hearing will be on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. Community members may tune in here and can call in for public comment at 800-857-1917, passcode: 5180519#


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