ACWA Testifies at PSPS Hearing; AB 2182 (Rubio) Introduced by Caroline Minasian Feb 12, 2020 Member Submitted News On Feb. 11, ACWA-sponsored bill AB 2182 (Rubio) was introduced to address the unintended consequences of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events for water and wastewater agencies. The bill proposes a narrow exemption from existing laws that limit the emissions of air contaminants when operating an alternative power source during events. “As California braces for future PSPS events, legislation limiting potential unintended consequences is crucial. By ensuring critical water services remain operating during a PSPS, Californians can rest assure water quality and supply will remain consistent,” said bill author Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park). Also on Feb. 11, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife held an informational hearing to discuss the impacts of PSPS on public water and wastewater agencies in California. One panel consisted of the following ACWA member agencies sharing their PSPS experiences: Las Virgenes Municipal Water District East Bay Municipal Utilities District Calaveras County Water District Another panel focused on policy solutions and included a testimony from ACWA Legislative Advocate Julia Hall. Common challenges for ACWA member water and wastewater agencies include operational flexibility, funding and communications. The hearing concluded with a public comment period where other agencies, air districts and associations were able to share their challenges. The hearing is available on the Assembly’s website. Earlier this month, ACWA staff also arranged an informational tour of San Diego Gas & Electric’s Emergency Operations Center for members of the ACWA Energy Committee. Participants heard from a science specialist and got first-hand experience of how an investor-owned utility operates during a PSPS event. “Our weather stations take into account wind speed, direction, gust and temperature and humidity,” said Brian D’Agostino, SDG&E’s Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation. “There are now more than 180 weather stations in our service territory.” D’Agostino shared a real-time map and showed an overlay that included SDG&E’s distribution lines to explain how these tools help the utility segment the grid for smaller-area shutoffs during de-energization events. ACWA staff continue to meet with legislators on this issue, monitor CPUC rulemaking efforts and engage with member agencies through its PSPS work groups to coordinate solutions to mitigate the unintended consequences of shutoffs.