FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION PROTECTING NEW YORKERS FROM STRAY VOLTAGE
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 205-A, sponsored by Council Members Lopez, Vallone, Nelson, Clarke, Martinez, Monserrate, Stewart, Gerson, Liu, Gennaro, Palma, Addabbo, Gonzalez, Gentile, Brewer, Sears, Baez, Barron, Felder, James, Koppell, Perkins, Reed, Seabrook, Weprin, DeBlasio, Jackson, Rivera and Public Advocate Gotbaum.
"On January 16, 2004, Jodie Lane was electrocuted after coming into contact with a Con Edison electrical service box. This tragedy makes clear the need to take further action to ensure the safety of pedestrians as they navigate the City's streets and sidewalks. The public should be assured of the integrity of the electrical equipment located on and below the City's streets and sidewalks.
"Intro. 205-A requires all local electric corporations to establish and implement written guidelines and procedures for the annual inspection and repair of each category of their electrical-related infrastructure used to provide electrical service; and where necessary to make appropriate repairs within 24 hours. Additionally, the bill requires such corporations to submit an annual report on inspections and repairs to the Public Service Commission, the Council and the Department of Transportation, and it requires them to establish and implement a public education campaign on how to protect yourself from the dangers of stray voltage.
"Lastly, this bill requires DOT to conduct at least 250 annual random tests of electrical-related infrastructure for the purposes of detecting stray voltage and to submit written reports of each test to the Public Service Commission and to the local electric corporation.
"It is clear that the Public Service Commission has oversight responsibilities for the safety and reliability of service provided by Con Edison and is responsible for establishing rules and procedures to ensure that Con Edison's infrastructure is safe and well maintained. In fact, the City is participating in proceedings before the PSC to advocate for stricter inspection requirements. This Administration urges the PSC to bring its proceedings to an expeditious conclusion so that revised, stricter safety standards and reporting requirements may be issued promptly to address the problem of stray voltage.
"The City will ensure the safety of its streets and sidewalks. This Administration is supporting this bill so that the process of detecting and correcting problems involving stray voltage begins without delay and the local utility is held to appropriate standards of safety.
"I would like to thank Commissioner Weinshall and the Department's staff for their work and assistance on this legislation. I would also like to thank Council Member Lopez, who unfortunately couldn't be with us today but deserves credit for her leadership on this issue, and the other Council Members who served as bill sponsors and assisted in guiding this bill through the legislative process."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Watch bill signing in 56k or 300k