Dan Brekke, California Public Utilities Commission, California discussed on All Things Considered
Sparked by their equipment. Today's vote follows two years of catastrophic blazes across the state most caused by things like down power lines and exploding. Transformers K cuties. Dan Brekke followed today's vote by the California Public utilities commission and Dan, a key part of the plan pass today was to approve these guidelines for how the states big utilities, including PG any can shut off their power when fire danger is. Hi, how are they going to decide when to do, this was an interesting thing? The companies themselves are solely responsible for deciding when the shutoff are necessary. So how do they do that? They take those national weather service warnings like a red flag warning plug in their own information. And then they try to look at where power lines are most vulnerable. Title and based on all that, then they may decide in really extreme circumstances to take the power down. So there couple of big concerns about this practice of shutting off the power and one comes from people with disabilities in those rely on critical medical equipment. What is this policy mean for these residents well, puts these folks in real bind because as you say, some of them are reliant things like dialysis machines or respirators or system to recharge their wheelchairs, or something like that. And if the power goes down the results are predictable. None of that stuff works. This is an issue that as this plan is rolled out is going to get a lot of attention, and we'll probably actually see action in the legislature about this, and what will it mean for first responders, because they need power when there's emergency like wildfires, and there's a whole range of unintended consequences that can happen with the power goes down communication systems can be disrupted your water system, which. If you need to fight a fire might be taken down. So what the CPC decision power. Shut off says is that you need massive and redundant communication, with every public safety in emergency agency in the state of from the California, office of emergency services down to the local fire department to make sure that everybody knows, as far in advance as possible up to seventy two hours that you're even thinking about shutting down power, and when they do shut off power. What kind of geography? Are we talking about here? What swath of territory. Well, I mean, this has got a lot of attention because the power shut off set of happened over the past couple of years when the become more frequent have been very limited. Now PG is talking about taking down transmission lines. These are the big high voltage lines, see strung through towers, now if they take down transmission lines PG, any has warned people that. Not just these high threat. Fire districts up in the foothills, anybody, impeaching service area could be affected. The CPU. See also today approved PG knees wildfire safety plan.