City of Santa Clarita

City Council Agenda Item

PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF DISCUSSION

Information

Department:City Manager's OfficeSponsors:
Category:DirectionSub-Categories:N/A

Attachments

  1. Agenda Report

Fiscal Impact

Approval of the recommended action requires no additional resources beyond those already contained within the adopted FY 2019-20 budget.

Recommended Action

City Council discuss and provide direction to staff.

Background/Alt Actions

BACKGROUND

 

Beginning in October 2019, multiple investor-owned utility companies in California, including Southern California Edison, de-energized electric facilities during elevated weather conditions. Utility companies express that the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events are to reduce the risk of electrical infrastructure sparking a wildfire during strong wind and high temperature conditions. However, PSPS events have caused many unintended consequences, including the loss of power at homes, schools, and businesses for extended periods of time, causing dangerous conditions for many residents, and an adverse economic impact for businesses.

    

Locally, many residents in Santa Clarita and the surrounding unincorporated areas have experienced PSPS events during evacuation orders due to wildfires. The power disruptions during evacuation orders placed many residents in severe danger, as the lack of electricity resulted in significant barriers to access internet, cellular, and landline service to stay up-to-date with evacuation orders and wildfire conditions.

 

As of October 1, 2019, the City of Santa Clarita (City) has experienced seven days of PSPS events, including the de-energization of seven electrical circuits. On October 30, 2019, approximately 10,527 households in the City experienced a power disruption due to a PSPS event. The estimated average duration of the PSPS event that affected City residents on October 30, 2019, was approximately 24 hours.    

 

At the recommendation of the Public Utility Commission of the State of California (CPUC) Safety and Enforcement Division, the CPUC will consider opening an investigation of the 2019 PSPS events at a special meeting on November 13, 2019. If approved by the CPUC, the investigation will review whether investor-owned electric utility companies prioritized safety and complied with CPUC regulations and requirements with respect to their October 2019 PSPS events.

 

The CPUC is accepting public comments related to their consideration to order an investigation at their special meeting on November 13, 2019.

 

ALTERNATIVE ACTION

 

Other action as determined by the City Council.

Meeting History

Nov 12, 2019 6:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting

City Manager Ken Striplin provided the staff report.

Addressing the Council on this item was Alan Ferdman, Steve Petzold, Mike Ryan, and Christian Gadbois.

Council discussed the consequences of losing electrical power to the community, both residents and businesses; that the power shut offs are about liability to the electrical companies, and absence of legislative action, power shut offs will continue; Edison customers being misled to believe it was the City's decision to shut off power; and the need for strong legislative action.

Mayor McLean requested that staff put together comments for the CPUC meeting tomorrow and state that Edison is not moving fast enough to upgrade their infrastructure.

Council concurred for staff to create a five-signature letter as part of the record for the November 13 webinar and for staff to participate in the public comment portion.

RESULT:RECEIVED