On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, the City of Norwalk filed a motion asking the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to impose sanctions and penalties on Eversource as part of its investigation into the company’s preparedness and response to Tropical Storm Isaias. The City additionally asked to participate fully in PURA’s investigation.
“Tropical Storm Isaias wreaked havoc in Norwalk and as it took more than a week for all residents to have their power restored. The abysmal response by Eversource and the complete lack of transparency and communication from company executives revealed a profoundly flawed power delivery system in Connecticut,” Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling said. “I am so grateful to our local providers – South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) and Third Taxing District (TTD) Electric Department – which restored their customers quickly and then assisted Eversource to bring more residents back online. If state lawmakers need a model of well-run and effective power companies, I invite them to look no further than SNEW and TTD – the best in the region.”
In addition to seeking participation in the state’s investigation into the Tropical Storm Isaias, which allows for the City to officially submit testimony, present arguments, and cross-examine witnesses, the City is also asking PURA to impose sanctions and/or civil penalties on Eversource. PURA will review the company’s implementation of their emergency response plans filed in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-32e and assess whether they complied with the standards for emergency preparation and restoration of service established in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-32h. The City of Norwalk states in the legal motion filed August 25 that “given Eversource’s unacceptable response to Isaias, the City urges the Authority as part of this Investigation to impose sanctions” and “for the health and safety of residents of the State of Connecticut, the City requests the Authority to penalize Eversource accordingly.”
Numerous municipalities, including the cities of Bridgeport and Danbury, and the towns of Easton, New Canaan, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Westport and Weston, have joined the City of Norwalk to become a participant in these investigations.