For Immediate Release - February 09, 2011

AG Coakley's Office to Testify at Department of Public Utilities Hearings on National Grid's Response to December 26 Storm

BOSTON - Beginning tomorrow, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office will testify at hearings held by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to address National Grid's response to a December 26, 2010 storm that left over 125,000 North and South Shore customers without power.

After the storm, the Attorney General's Office petitioned the DPU to investigate National Grid, citing that the company did not fully implement its own Emergency Response Plan, which required the company to activate local Emergency Operations Centers prior to a storm, and neglected to communicate with municipal officials, public safety providers and customers during a storm event. If the DPU finds that National Grid has violated any of its standards for restoration of service, the DPU may levy penalties of up to $250,000 per violation, up to a total of $20 million for any related series of violations.

The AG's testimony will highlight areas of concern for the Department to focus their investigation including the additional burden placed on municipal fire officials to safeguard potentially live downed wires for long-period of times and whether the Company's planning and response contributed to the duration of outages from the storm.

The hearings will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Gloucester- February 10, Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue 7:00 p.m.
  • Scituate- February 16, G.A.R. Hall, 353 Country Way 7:00 p.m.
  • Bridgewater- February 17, Moakley Center, Bridgewater State College, 100 Burrill Avenue 7:00 p.m.