Bill S1537-2013

Requires a safety and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers

Requires a safety and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers and the replacement or removal of deficient poles.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1537

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a safety and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers and requiring a safety and reliability inspection of all utility poles used by electric corporations providing electric service to over 300,000 customers and the replacement or removal of deficient poles

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that there is a plan in place by any telephone corporation in NYS that services more than one million subscribers and electric corporations serving over 300,000 customers to conduct a study and implement a plan of action to remove the growing number of old unsafe telephone and electric poles in communities throughout the state or face a mandatory minimum fine for inaction.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 2 amends public service law by adding a new section 98-a that calls for the PSC to require telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers to conduct a safety and reliability study of all telephone poles used for telephone service and electric corporations serving over 300,000 customers and electric poles and report the total number of poles per county, the total number of poles split or shattered, the number of poles severed or partially severed and the number of poles "strapped" or declared unsafe within language in this new subdivision. The study will be completed within 120 days of the effective date of this section and upon completion the study will be submitted to the public service commission, the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly and the standing chairs of the assembly and senate committee on corporations, authorities and commissions. Replace of unsafe poles will be made by experience employees and fines of $ 150 per month per un-replaced pole shall be assessed against each telephone and electric pole that a telephone corporation serving more than one million subscribers, or an electric corporation serving over 300,000 customers has identified as unsafe or noncompliant.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would require the Public Service Commission to initiate a rule-making to establish mandatory minimum fines for unsafe double pole conditions; an inventory and study of double pole conditions by telephone corporations serving over 1 million subscribers and electric corporations serving over 200,000 customers; and timely removal by properly trained and experienced telephone and electric utility workers of double pole conditions.

Aging or damaged telephone and electric poles pose a threat to public and utility worker safety and must be replaced. When they are replaced with new poles and wiring is transferred to the new pole, the old telephone or electric pole must be removed to protect public and worker safety. When the old telephone or electric pole is not removed, it creates an unsafe and unsightly "double" pole condition. Currently, there are many thousands of aging "double" telephone and electric poles littering the state. Many double telephone and electric

poles have been in place for years despite complaints by municipalities, residents and the telephone workers union. Double poles are also found on both public and private property.

The Public Service Commission has had a proceeding on double poles since June of 2008 (Case 08-M0593). The Public Service Commission proceeding initiated on double pole conditions has not produced either a remedy or an inventory of double pole conditions.

As the Public Service Commission's proceeding has continued, many more double poles have being created throughout New York State where the telephone corporation serving over 1 million subscribers or the electric companies serving over 300,000 customers has failed to remove the old poles.

Aging and damaged utility poles are at risk of toppling over or falling. Utility workers are unable to safely climb double poles and therefore network operations are impaired. Property values are impaired by double poles. Telephone and electric poles are also filled with wood preservatives that may leach into the ground, potentially damaging environmental quality and Public health.

Telephone corporations serving over 1 million subscribers and electric corporations serving over 300,000 customers should not be allowed to create these avoidable unsafe and unsightly conditions. An inventory of existing conditions, mandatory minimum fines, and requirements for timely removal of double poles conditions are needed to remedy the problem.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 04/08/10: Referred to Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 01/12/11: Referred to Energy and Telecommunications 06/08/11: Amended and recommitted to Energy and Telecommunications, Print number 1777A 01/04/12: Referred to Energy and Telecommunications

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1537 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, ADDABBO, AVELLA, CARLUCCI, DILAN, HASSELL- THOMPSON, LANZA, MONTGOMERY, PERALTA, RIVERA, SAVINO, STAVISKY, STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a safe- ty and reliability inspection of all telephone poles used by telephone corporations providing telephone service to more than one million subscribers and requiring a safety and reliability inspection of all utility poles used by electric corporations providing electric service to over 300,000 customers and the replacement or removal of deficient poles THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby declares that unsafe, inadequate or unreliable telephone and electrical utility poles are a danger to the general public and to telecommunications and elec- trical utility workers; that such telephone and electrical utility poles impair the effective delivery of telecommunications services; and that the public interest requires increased oversight of the safety and reli- ability of jurisdictional telecommunications and electrical utility services carried over or by above ground telephone and electrical utili- ty lines, as such are defined in article 1 of the public service law; and that the public interest requires a set of minimum fines to ensure compliance with this statute by each telephone corporation serving over one million subscribers and each electric corporation serving over 300,000 subscribers. S 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 98-a to read as follows: S 98-A. SAFETY AND RELIABILITY INSPECTION. 1. THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SECTION, REQUIRE TELEPHONE CORPORATIONS PROVIDING TELEPHONE SERVICE TO MORE THAN ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS, AND ELECTRIC CORPORATIONS SERVING OVER THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND CUSTOMERS, TO CONDUCT A STUDY OF THE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY OF ALL TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES USED BY SUCH CORPO- RATIONS TO PROVIDE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC SERVICE WITHIN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, AND TO REPORT UPON THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: (A) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES PER COUNTY; (B) THE NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES WITHIN EACH COUNTY THAT ARE SPLIT OR SHATTERED FOR MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE LENGTH OF SUCH POLES; (C) THE NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES PER COUNTY THAT ARE SEVERED OR PARTIALLY SEVERED FROM THEIR BASE; (D) THE NUMBER OF TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES PER COUNTY THAT ARE ATTACHED DIRECTLY TO OTHER TELEPHONE POLES ("STRAPPED") BY MEANS OTHER THAN THE UTILITY LINES CONNECTING SUCH POLES; (E) THE NUMBER OF STRAPPED POLES, OF WHICH EITHER OR BOTH POLES ARE SPLIT OR SHATTERED FOR MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE LENGTH OF SUCH POLES; (F) ANY POLES THAT NO LONGER COMPLY WITH ANSI SAFETY STANDARD O5.1; AND (G) ANY TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES FROM WHICH ALL ELECTRICAL, TELE- PHONE AND CABLE EQUIPMENT OR ELECTRICAL, TELEPHONE AND CABLE LINES HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY REMOVED FROM THE POLES AND TO WHICH NO NEW TELEPHONE, ELECTRICAL OR CABLE PLANT AND EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN ATTACHED FOR AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS. 2. TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES IDENTIFIED IN SUBDIVISIONS (B), (C), (D), (E), (F) AND (G) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE PRESUMED TO BE NO LONGER SAFE, ADEQUATE OR RELIABLE FOR TELECOMMUNI- CATIONS AND ELECTRIC SERVICE AND AN ENDANGERMENT TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRIC UTILITY WORKERS, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO SUCH STANDARDS FOR REPLACEMENT OF UNSAFE POLES, OR FINES, OR BOTH, AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION. 3. THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STUDY REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE COMPLETED BY EACH TELEPHONE CORPO- RATION SERVING MORE THAN ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AND EACH ELECTRIC CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STUDY REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL CONTAIN SUCH TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC CORPORATION'S PLAN (THE "CORRECTIVE PLAN") FOR REPLACING, WITHIN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY- FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH REPORT (THE CORRECTIVE PLAN "COMPLETION DATE"), ALL POLES SPLIT OR SHATTERED FOR MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE LENGTH OF SUCH POLES, ALL POLES SEVERED OR PARTIALLY SEVERED FROM THEIR BASE, ALL POLES THAT ARE STRAPPED DIRECTLY TO OTHER TELEPHONE OR ELECTRIC POLES, ALL POLES FROM WHICH ALL ELECTRICAL, TELE- PHONE AND CABLE EQUIPMENT OR ELECTRICAL, TELEPHONE AND CABLE LINES HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY REMOVED FROM THE POLES AND TO WHICH NO NEW TELEPHONE, ELECTRICAL OR CABLE PLANT AND EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN ATTACHED FOR AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS, (COLLECTIVELY, "UNSAFE" POLES). 4. UPON ITS COMPLETION, THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STUDY REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBMITTED AS A REPORT, BY EACH TELEPHONE CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AND EACH ELECTRIC CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE
ASSEMBLY, AND THE CHAIR OF BOTH THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMIT- TEES ON CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND COMMISSIONS. 5. THE STUDY TO BE COMPLETED BY THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC CORPO- RATIONS SHALL INCORPORATE REPORTS OF POLES NONCOMPLIANT WITH THE FACTORS IDENTIFIED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED TO THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC CORPORATIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, TELEPHONE CORPORATION UNIONS, AND LOCAL, MUNICIPAL, COUNTY, AND STATE GOVERNMENT AND AGENCIES. 6. ALL TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLES IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLI- ANT WITH ANSI SAFETY STANDARD O5.1, IN THE CORRECTIVE PLAN REQUIRED IN THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY STUDY, SHALL BE REPLACED BY THE TELEPHONE OR THE ELECTRIC CORPORATION OWNING SUCH POLES, WITHIN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH REPORT. 7. REPLACEMENT OF THE POLES IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN THE CORRECTIVE PLAN SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY PROPERLY TRAINED, EXPERIENCED AND EQUIPPED EMPLOYEES OF EACH TELEPHONE CORPORATION SERVING OVER ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AND EACH ELECTRIC CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS PREPARING THE STUDY. 8. A FINE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS PER MONTH PER UN-REPLACED POLE SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST EACH TELEPHONE POLE THAT A TELEPHONE CORPO- RATION SERVING MORE THAN ONE MILLION SUBSCRIBERS HAS IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN ITS STUDY, AND HAS NOT REPLACED WITHIN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY REPORT AND FOR EACH ELECTRIC POLE THAT AN ELECTRIC CORPORATION SERVING MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SUBSCRIB- ERS HAS IDENTIFIED AS UNSAFE OR NONCOMPLIANT IN ITS STUDY, AND HAS NOT REPLACED WITHIN THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE TELEPHONE AND ELECTRIC POLE SAFETY AND RELIABILITY REPORT. S 3. The public service commission shall begin, within ninety days of the effective date of this act, a rulemaking proceeding to establish statewide safety and reliability standards for wooden telephone and electric poles, and to establish penalties for the violation of such standards. Penalties for violation of established standards shall not be less than $150 per month per un-replaced pole. The rulemaking proceeding to establish statewide safety and reliability standards for wooden tele- phone and electric poles and to establish penalties for the violation of such standards shall be completed within one year of its inception. S 4. Severability. If any provision of this act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the provision of this act, or in its application to the person or circumstance, directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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