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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:

  • 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.

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.

2021 WMP Compliance ProcessAdopted via CPUC Resolution M-4860

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

Compliance Reports

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.

Quarterly Compliance Reports include:

  • Quarterly Initiative Updates (QIU) required to track progress against completion of WMP initiative
  • Quarterly Data Reports (QDR) requiring data submissions detailing elements of electrical corporation infrastructure and risk events of interest
  • Quarterly Notifications (QN) required as a provision of maintaining a safety certification pursuant to Public Utilities Code §8389(e)(7)

Annual Compliance Reports 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)

Compliance Operational Guidelines

While the annual WMP Compliance Process subject to CPUC approval outlines Energy Safety’s high-level approach to compliance, the Compliance Operational Guidelines provide the specific operational detail for execution of that process. The Compliance Operational Guidelines set forth the requirements, format, timing, and other matters required for Energy Safety to exercise its powers, perform its duties, and meet its responsibilities for overseeing electrical corporation compliance. The Compliance Operational Guidelines are adopted annually in accordance with the requirements of Government Code § 15475.6 and can be found within Energy Safety’s e-Filing System.