A bill from Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to help protect people from wildfires sparked by power lines that are damaged in high winds or other extreme weather passed the full Senate Thursday with unanimous, bipartisan support.
“We must do whatever it takes to save lives and prevent the kind of destruction we’ve seen throughout the state,” Senator Dodd said. “It’s absolutely critical that we take these important steps to avoid another disaster.”
Senate Bill 901 requires electric utilities to update their wildfire mitigation plans to include policies and procedures for determining if, when and where to temporarily de-energize a power line during harsh weather. The plans would be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission for review. The bill is co-authored by Senator Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Assembly members Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, and Marc Levine, D-San Rafael.
“De-energizing a power line may create an inconvenience to the utility customer,” Senator Dodd said. “But without these protocols in place, the alternative may lead to the unthinkable such as that which we experienced in the North Bay last October.”
SB 901 moves next to the Assembly.
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