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  7. Wildfire Mitigation Plan Compliance

Wildfire Mitigation Plan Compliance

Energy Safety’s Compliance Assurance Division is responsible for oversight of electrical corporation compliance with wildfire mitigation plans (WMP).  In accordance with Government Code §15475.1(b), Energy Safety also identifies issues that the electrical corporations must expeditiously resolve to minimize wildfire risk and resolve noncompliance with WMP initiatives to support public safety. Energy Safety’s compliance process is primarily divided into the following components:

  • Energy Safety’s 2020 Annual Reports on Compliance: Energy Safety’s Annual Reports on Compliance (ARC) are an assessment of each electrical corporation’s implementation of their approved 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP).  The reports make a final determination on whether an electrical corporation had substantially complied with its approved plan. Once Energy Safety has made a final determination, if an electrical corporation has not substantially complied with its approved plan, Energy Safety may recommend that the California Public Utilities Commission pursue an enforcement action.
  • Compliance Assessments: Annual assessments assure each electrical corporation’s compliance with an approved WMP during the prior compliance period.  Ongoing assessments determine compliance throughout the compliance period based upon Energy Safety’s field inspections and audits, Independent Evaluator reports, and other regular reporting submissions. Assessments are scheduled according to statute or Energy Safety.
  • Compliance Assessment Results: Upon completion of an assessment, Energy Safety notifies electrical corporations of their compliance assessment findings, including risk categories and remediation timelines.  Pursuant to Government Code §15475.2, Energy Safety “may issue a notice of violation (NOV) or notice of defect (NOD) to direct the regulated entity to correct any defect or noncompliance with the approved wildfire mitigation plan or failure to comply with any laws, regulations, or guidelines within the authority of the office.” Energy Safety NOVs and NODs, including any requests for hearing and adjudication of those hearings are publicly available on Energy Safety’s website through the e-Filing System – Compliance Enforcement Case – in the respective dockets.
  • Compliance Assessment Referrals: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has penalty authority pursuant to Public Utilities Code §8389(g).  If Energy Safety “determines an electrical corporation is not in compliance with its approved wildfire mitigation plan, it may recommend that the CPUC pursue an enforcement action against the electrical corporation for noncompliance with its approved plan.” Energy Safety provides summaries of its compliance assessments and findings to the CPUC on a regular basis, and the CPUC determines whether to pursue enforcement actions. Energy Safety includes the electrical corporation’s response and the resolution status of any violations or defects in the summaries it provides to the CPUC.

Annual Reports on Compliance

To ensure effective compliance actions are taken and statutory obligations are met, Energy Safety requires electrical corporations to file several types of compliance reports on either a quarterly or annual basis.

Energy Safety’s 2020 Annual Reports on Compliance:

Electrical Corporation Annual Reports on Compliance include:

  • Electrical Corporation Annual Reports on Compliance (EC ARC) required pursuant to Public Utilities Code §8386.3(c)(1)
  • Notices of substantial vegetation management (SVM) completion required pursuant to Public Utilities Code §8386.3(c)(5)(A)

WMP Compliance Process

Public Utilities Code §8389(d)(3) directs the CPUC, after consultation with Energy Safety, to “adopt and approve” a “wildfire mitigation plan compliance process” by December 1 annually. The CPUC formally reviews, adopts, and approves Energy Safety’s WMP Compliance Process documents via resolution.

2023 WMP Compliance Process – Adopted via CPUC Resolution SPD-13

2022 WMP Compliance ProcessAdopted via CPUC Resolution SPD-7

2021 WMP Compliance ProcessAdopted via CPUC Resolution M-4860

2020 WMP Compliance Process – Adopted via CPUC Resolution WSD-012

Compliance Guidelines

The Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (Energy Safety) has authority under Government Code section 15475.6 to “adopt guidelines setting forth the requirements, format, timing, and any other matters required to exercise its powers, perform its duties, and meet its responsibilities described in Sections 326, 326.1, and 326.2 and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 8385) of Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code….”

Pursuant to Public Utilities Code section 8386(b), electrical corporations must annually prepare and submit a Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) to Energy Safety for review and approval. Subsequently, pursuant to section 8386.3(c), Energy Safety is charged with overseeing the electrical corporations’ compliance with the WMP. Energy Safety’s Compliance Guidelines set forth substantive and procedural requirements for electrical corporations both during and after the annual compliance period.