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Feb. 21 Public Safety Power Shutoff Committee meeting to host CPUC, PG&E representatives

Source: 
Lake County News

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Lake County's Public Safety Power Shutoff Committee invites community members to take part in a meeting next week that will include presentations from representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission and Pacific Gas and Electric.

The meeting will take place beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Board of Supervisors chambers on the first floor of the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport.

Following PG&E's repeated and overlapping public safety power shutoffs in the fall, the city councils for Clearlake and Lakeport and the county of Lake held a joint meeting to discuss their concerns, later submitting a letter to the CPUC about the impacts of the shutoffs on their communities.

Since then, local officials have shared county residents' stories with PG&E's leadership and state representatives.

The Lake County's Public Safety Power Shutoff Committee also was formed, and it includes representatives from county and city governments.

At the Feb. 21 meeting, Aaron Johnson, PG&E's vice president of customer energy solutions, will be present to provide an update on efforts toward long-term solutions, including plans to harden city centers, critical facilities, and schools against future PSPS events.

"I am encouraged PG&E has prioritized attending this meeting," said County Administrative Officer Carol J. Huchingson. "Years of neglect of infrastructure maintenance and failure to adopt safety and grid management practices common in other states contributed to PSPS events becoming a necessity, and they cannot be an enduring norm."

CPUC Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves, appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2016, also will be present.

"In response to input from Lake County residents and others, the CPUC initiated an investigation into PG&E's PSPS events on Nov. 13," Huchingson said. "Californians demanded accountability, and we expect Commissioner Guzman Aceves will lend insight into how the CPUC's oversight functions, and ongoing work to minimize use and ultimately eliminate the PSPS as a tool for our Public Utilities."

Updates are expected from the offices of Lake County's state representatives, as well.

County officials said public input is essential at this critical juncture.

"Truly, the management of PSPS events is among the most urgent state-level policy matters of our time, in that it affects the ability of every one of us to plan our lives," said Huchingson. "The right players are going to be in the room, and I sincerely hope residents and business owners will fill the board chambers, and make their perspectives known."

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