A pair of bills from Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that will help protect people from wildfires sparked by utilities lines or equipment cleared the Senate Appropriations committee Friday and heads to the full Senate next week for a vote.
“We know downed power lines have caused devastating fires in the past,” Senator Dodd said. “And last fire season made clear the need to be innovative and proactive about protecting the public. These bills will help us achieve these goals and strengthen the utilities grid while preventing future disasters.”
The first, Senate Bill 901, requires utilities to adopt emergency shutoff plans to de-energize lines if they are at risk of falling down in high winds or other natural events. It passed with a unanimous 7-0 vote.
The second, Senate Bill 1088, builds a framework for strengthening utility infrastructure to prevent future catastrophes. It requires the Office of Emergency Services and Public Utilities Commission to develop new standards to “harden” infrastructure to protect against damage during storms, floods, mudslides, wildfires and earthquakes. It passed 4-2.
“We must do whatever it takes to save lives and prevent the kind of destruction we’ve seen throughout the state,” Dodd said. “It’s absolutely critical that we take these important steps to avoid another disaster.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.