FLEMINGTON, NJ – State regulators have scheduled a public hearing in Hunterdon to examine Jersey Central Power & Light’s response to this winter’s storms.
“I have promised that we will get to the bottom of what led to so many state residents losing power for such a long period of time,” said state Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso in a press release. He asked the public to attend and share their experiences “and help us make improvements to reduce the chances of this happening again.”
The hearing will be held Friday, May 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Sergeantsville Firehouse. It is located at 761 Sergeantsville Rd. in Delaware Township. It will be the fifth hearing the BPU has conducted in response to the outages.
Winter storms Quinn, Riley and Toby left hundreds of thousands of state’s residents without power, some for more than 10 days, Fiordaliso said.
In Hunterdon, more than half the county went dark after winter storm Riley. The company’s response prompted strong words from Freeholder Director Matt Holt, who called JCP&L’s performance “unacceptable” and added “It is not like we haven’t been through this before,”
In addition to the public hearings, Fiordaliso directed BPU staff to “closely review” the utility storm protocols it ordered after Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene swept through New Jersey. he wants to know if those protocols were followed and if changes are needed.
Board staff is reviewing preparedness, mutual assistance agreements, vegetation management, communication and the potential for underground lines.
In addition to public hearing comments, written comments may be submitted via email or in writing to Aida Camacho-Welch, Secretary of the Board, Board of Public Utilities, 44 South Clinton, Avenue, 3rd Floor, Suite 314, Post Office Box 350, Trenton 08625-0350.
Those filing written comments should reference March 2018 Winter Storm Events comments Docket Number EO18030255 in the subject field for emails and in the heading of any written correspondence.
Comments will be accepted until May 31 and will receive as much consideration in the investigation as oral comments provided at the hearings, the press release states.