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  • NJ A558
  • "Disaster Information Access Act"; requires utility service providers to report severe weather and emergency related service interruptions; directs utility service providers and State Office of Emergency Management to present reported information online and by telephone.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, the "Disaster Information Access Act," requires certain providers of electric, natural gas, and water service (provider) to report service interruptions that occur in connection with a major catastrophic event to the State Office of Emergency Management (office), mayors or other municipal chief executives, as appropriate, governing bodies of affected municipalities, and county freeholders of affected counties. "Major catastrophic event" is defined in the bill to mean a natural or humanly caused occurrence arising from conditions beyond the control of the provider, including, but not limited to, a terrorist attack, thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, flood, heat wave, snowstorm or ice storm, or an earthquake, which results in: (1) a sustained interruption of service to at least 10 percent of the customers in an operating area or 10 percent of the customers of a municipality or county located in an operating area; or (2) the declaration of a state of emergency or disaster by the Governor or by the President. Under the bill, the provider is to, within 24 hours of a major catastrophic event, report information pertaining to service interruptions occurring in connection with the event within the provider's operating area to the office and, upon request, to the mayor (or chief executive, depending upon the form of government) and governing body of each affected municipality, and to the governing body of each affected county. The report is to include the following information: (1) the cause of the interruption; (2) the estimated time of resumption of service; and (3) any health and safety advisories, including boil water advisories. The provider is to, within 24 hours of a major catastrophic event, provide to the office, a report which is to include information in connection with the provider's work to restore interrupted service, including plans for ongoing work in each affected municipality, and factors which may hinder or delay restoration of service. Within 24 hours after submission of the initial report, a provider is to issue to the office, and upon request, to the mayor, and the governing body of each affected municipality and county, a report that includes information in connection with: (1) the provider's work to restore interrupted service, including plans for ongoing work in the affected municipalities or counties; and (2) factors which may hinder or delay restoration of service. In addition, the bill directs that, upon submission of each report, a provider shall relay the information contained in the report, and any other information the provider deems appropriate, through posting on its website, and by audio message on a 24-hour toll-free telephone service maintained by the provider. A provider is also required to provide daily updates to the mayor and governing body of each affected municipality and county of any new information as it pertains to that municipality or county. The bill requires the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and any other State or local entity having jurisdiction over any road or highway to report to the office any known road or highway closures resulting from a major catastrophic event involving a declaration of emergency. The bill directs the office to post on its website, and communicate on a telephone service line established by the office, within 24 hours of receipt, the information reported to the office pursuant to the bill. The office is required to list the information by county and municipality and take appropriate steps to publicize the telephone service and availability of information on its website. Any provider who fails to report interruption related information pursuant to the bill would be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day that the violation continues and, in the case of investor-owned electric, gas, and water public utilities, civil penalties shall not be recoverable from ratepayers.
Homeland Security and State Preparedness
Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Hearing (19:00 2/13/2017 )  (on 2/13/2017)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
2/13/2017 Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Hearing (19:00 2/13/2017 )
5/19/2016 Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Hearing (14:00 5/19/2016 Committee Room 12, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified