Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a letter to Southern California Edison (SCE), calling on them to conduct a series of investigations and continue to tether manhole covers related to the power outages.
Since July, Long Beach has experienced five significant power outages.
In July, State Senator Ricardo Lara and assemblymembers Anthony Rendon and Patrick O’Donnell had called upon CPUC to demand a comprehensive review of the causes of the recent power outages, along with Mayor Robert Garcia. In August, SCE said they had hired a private consultant to conduct an investigation into the power outages, in addition to an existing internal investigation.
“The recent rash of outages, smoking vaults and explosion in Long Beach is very troubling,” the letter states. “The [Safety Enforcement Division of CPUC] believes that investigating and mitigating these unsafe conditions should be SCE’s top priority.”
The letter calls for the following inspections to have been performed in the next 30 days:
- Detailed inspection of underground facilities and lead conductors and splices.
- Detailed inspection on protective devices (such as relays, breakers, fuses and more).
- Confirm ventilation system is properly working in all underground vaults that require ventilation systems.
- Confirm transformers serving Long Beach are rated properly to meet customer demand, especially in times of peak demand.
- Inspect and confirm reliable operation of the circuit supplying power to the Port of Long Beach and any spot serving a large number of customers.