UTILITY POLE SAFETY Tour and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Public Participation hearing, May 21, 2018

Informational advisory from Santa Clara University School of Law

Santa Clara University School of Law Professor and former CPUC Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval will lead a tour of utility poles in the San Jose area on May 21, 2018 from noon to 4:30 p.m., highlighting safety, reliability, and competitive access issues. The public is invited to join the utility pole safety tour which will begin at noon at the Willow Glen Community & Senior Center, 2175 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125

Tour Participants including the media are invited to meet in the parking lot where a map of the utility poles to be visited will be provided. Participants will drive on their own to utility pole locations or can coordinate carpools at the Willow Glen Senior Center. CPUC President Michael Picker may be in attendance.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a public forum in San Jose on May 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Isaac Newton Center Board Room to discuss utility pole safety issues and provide an opportunity for the public to express their opinions on the issue:

WHAT:  Public Forum on Utility Poles

WHEN:  May 21, 2018, 5 p.m.

WHERE:  Isaac Newton Center Board Room, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose, CA  95110

The CPUC has found that poorly maintained poles and attached electric and communication wires have tragically caused substantial property damage from fires and loss of life in California. Unauthorized attachments overload poles and put utility workers and consumers at risk. The CPUC is tasked with ensuring the safety of all poles in California and has opened an investigation to consider the creation of a pole census to better manage pole conditions (proceeding number I.17-06-027). The census would allow pole owners and companies that attach their communication and electric wires to poles to share pole information and for the CPUC to better ensure pole safety. The CPUC welcomes attendance at this forum, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision.

Professor Sandoval teaches Energy Law, Communications Law, Contracts, and Antitrust Law at Santa Clara University School of Law. “Utility poles, first used by Samuel Morse to support telegraph lines, are the scaffold that supports the Internet, electricity, and telephone service,” Professor Sandoval observed. “Utility pole maintenance is critical to protecting the public from fires and other hazards associated with overloaded or leaning poles,” she added. “Utility pole safety promotes access to the infrastructure that fuels our economy and protects public safety,” Professor Sandoval emphasized.

For more information about the utility pole tour in San Jose on May 21 at noon please contact Professor Catherine Sandoval at: Csandoval@scu.edu

Professor Sandoval’s comments for CPUC Utility Pole Census and Competitive Access Order Instituting Investigation, 17-06-027