SACRAMENTO – The Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (Energy Safety) today released its evaluation and approval of the 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Update submitted by Southern California Edison.
The plan, required by 2018 legislation enacted in the wake of devastating wildfires, documents the utility’s assessment of its wildfire risk and proposed actions to reduce that risk and prevent catastrophic wildfires caused by utility infrastructure. Energy Safety is tasked with evaluating the plans for eight electrical utilities in California.
Utilities submitted and made public their first wildfire mitigation plans for review by the CPUC in February 2019. In January 2020, the CPUC’s Wildfire Safety Division was established to oversee and enforce electrical utilities’ compliance with wildfire safety. The division transitioned to the California Natural Resources Agency on July 1, 2021, as the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, consistent with state statute.
Energy Safety’s final evaluation and approval of Southern California Edison’s plan will go before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for ratification on Thursday, August 19.
“With wildfire risk intensifying due to climate change, Energy Safety is laser focused on driving continued improvements in the utilities’ wildfire safety capabilities,” Energy Safety Director Caroline Thomas Jacobs said. “While important improvements have been made, there is still much to be done to reorient how the utilities build, operate and maintain their infrastructure to be resilient in our evolving climate.”
In July, Energy Safety approved 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates for San Diego Gas & Electric, Liberty Utilities, PacifiCorp, Horizon West and Trans Bay Cable. Those approvals were ratified by the CPUC on July 15.
Energy Safety issued draft evaluations for Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Bear Valley Electric Service earlier this month for public comment. Energy Safety expects to issue final evaluations for the two utilities in September.
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