TRENTON, N.J. –Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips wants the state Board of Public Utilities to hold public hearings on the slow restoration of power to utility customers after Tropical Storm Isaias.
“A troubling pattern of incompetence has emerged from the inability of New Jersey’s power companies to restore power in a timely manner,” wrote DePhillips (R-Bergen) in a letter to the agency’s president. “It calls for a thorough and swift investigation as well as a public hearing.”
At the peak of last Tuesday’s storm, over 1.4 million people were without power with thousands of residents still impacted a week later.
“It is unacceptable that multi-day outages have become expected here following severe rain or snowstorms,” continued DePhillips. “The people of New Jersey deserve far better.”
DePhillips commended the board’s decision to conduct an investigation but said that public hearings were necessary to provide residents and business owners the opportunity to testify.
After Hurricane Sandy, the BPU held at least three hearings in 2012 examining the response of JCP&L and Rockland Electric in the storm’s wake. It also held five hearings after back-to-back nor’easters hit the state in March 2018 in the franchise territories for JCP&L, PSE&G, Atlantic City Electric and Rockland Electric.
The Assembly Homeland Security and Telecommunications and Utilities committees plan to hold a joint hearing on the utilities’ emergency response on August 19.
For a copy of DePhillips letter, click HERE.