Legal Alerts Oct 28, 2019

Gov. Newsom Pledges $75 Million in Funds for State and Local Governments to Mitigate Power Shutoff Impacts

City Proposals for Funding Due Nov. 4

In response to the recent and continued utility-initiated power shutoffs that are leaving millions of Californians without power, Gov. Gavin Newsom launched a Local Government Public Safety Power Shutoff Resiliency Program. The PSPS Resiliency program includes a $75 million, one-time General Fund appropriation to support state and local government efforts to mitigate power shutoffs’ impacts.
The funding, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, will be shared among state and local governments as follows:

  • State: $37.5 million
  • Counties: $26 million
  • Tribes: $1.5 million
  • Cities: $10 million
    • Direct guaranteed allocations of $500,000 will be given to San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Oakland and
    • All other cities will compete for the remaining $8 million with a streamlined process, explained further below.

For cities competing for the funds, proposals for a PSPS Resiliency allocation are due Nov 4. Cities may apply for up to $500,000. The funds appropriated may be used to procure fixed, long-term emergency electrical generation equipment, continuity plans, risk assessments for critical infrastructure, post event reports, public education materials or supplies to prepare for electric disruption. The funds may not be used for response costs associated with electric disruption events, including Emergency Operations Center staffing, security, law enforcement/fire response, other overtime charges, etc.
As part of its proposals, cities are required to outline how they intend to use the funds, as well as the following information:

  • Population
  • Number of days of PSPS experienced and  
  • Money in disaster reserve fund compared to total budget.

The CAL OES Director will make award determinations based on the above-noted three factors, plus all other available facts and circumstances.
Local agencies may also consider drafting a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission requesting it make the utility companies reimburse them for power shutoff-related emergency costs.  
For more information about the PSPS Resiliency Program and how it impacts your agency, please contact the authors of this Legal Alert listed at the right in the firm’s Municipal Law practice group, or your BB&K attorney.
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Disclaimer: BB&K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqué.

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