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State Senate Leaders Propose Utility Penalties

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October nor'easter utility plea (Courtesy William Kuntz)

October nor’easter utility plea (Courtesy William Kuntz)

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Senate Democrats are proposing legislation that would establish penalties for utilities that fail to meet performance standards when restoring power during emergencies.

The proposal also requires more tree-trimming to avoid power line damage and small power grids to allow hospitals and other critical facilities to operate during emergencies.

Senate leaders announced their proposal Wednesday in response to widespread and lengthy power outages following the remnants of Hurricane Irene in late August and the October snow storm.

Performance standards address staffing and equipment and response times. The amount of the fines was not specified.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposes adding $2 million for tree-trimming, spending $500,000 on emergency training and $5 million in bond funds for a pilot program to encourage the development of a micro-electric grid.

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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