CPUC Safety Intervenor Workshop

September 15, 2016, 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

CPUC Courtyard Room, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

Listen-only: 877-715-0719, passcode 7031713

 

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for the last few years has been exploring ways of expanding the participation of safety related intervenors in relevant CPUC proceedings.  For example, in July 2015, CPUC staff distributed a Solicitation for Input seeking informal feedback on potentially expanding the role of safety intervenors and asking whether there are specific organizations that could serve as safety intervenors, whether the CPUC should require certain competencies of safety intervenors, and whether potential safety intervenors experience barriers to their participation.  Earlier in 2016 the CPUC, working with the Legislature, receive approval to establish its own Safety Advocate.

The intent of this workshop is two-fold. During the first half, interested stakeholders will brainstorm an effective way to establish this new Safety Advocate. During the second half there will be a discussion about opportunities and challenges surrounding the potential participation of other safety intervenors in relevant CPUC proceedings. This workshop is required as part of the CPUC’s 2016 Safety Action Plan – Action Item #7.

Agenda

This will be an interactive workshop divided into two parts:

 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Discussion on formation of Safety Advocate 

This will be a brainstorming session led by Tom Long of TURN and Tony Marino of Senator Jerry Hill’s office. Marzia Zafar, Director of the CPUC’s Policy & Planning Division, will introduce the thinking behind this Division followed by Tom Long and Tony Marino giving their vision. Each will have five minutes to present followed by a group discussion on how best to form and utilize this new Division to bring more accountability and safety to electric and gas utility service. Some questions to think about are:

  1. What types of proceedings should the Safety Advocate focus on?
  2. Is the Safety Advocate similar to TURN and the Office of Ratepayer Advocates, or will they bring another perspective to proceedings?
  3. How is the Safety Advocate going to work with the CPUC’s Safety & Enforcement Division?
  4. What type of testimony, if any will the Safety Advocate file?

 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – BREAK 

 2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Discussion on barriers to participation in CPUC proceedings 

This will be a brainstorming session led by Marc Joseph of the California Coalition of Utility Employees and Evelyn Khal of Indicated Producers. Allison Brown, the CPUC’s Public Advisor, will introduce the issue followed by Marc Joseph and Evelyn Khal giving their perspective on intervenor experience in CPUC proceedings.  Each will have five minutes to present followed by a group discussion on how to ensure that the record for CPUC proceedings are expansive enough that utility ratepayers are well represented. Some questions to think about are:

  1. Do we have enough intervenors testifying in CPUC proceedings?
  2. Does the CPUC process give an unfair advantage to the utility? If yes, what is the solution for better transparency and equal footing.

 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Public Comment 

The session is dedicated to public comment and interaction. However, if someone didn’t get an opportunity to raise an issue during the workshop, this is the time to do so.

Presentations