Preparing for Wildfire Season, Levine Measure to Authorize a Public Safety Power Shutoff State of Emergency Approved by State Assembly

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Continuing his efforts to protect California families and businesses from the impacts of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), legislation by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) to qualify a PSPS event as a local or statewide state of emergency was approved today by the State Assembly. AB 2178 (Levine) was approved on a bipartisan vote of 68 to 0.


In October 2019, PG&E initiated a series of PSPS events that left millions of Californians without electricity. The unprecedented scale of these power shutoffs significantly impacted first responders and left millions of residents and small businesses scrambling to find alternative sources of electricity.


Because the PSPS was a planned electrical outage, it did not meet the existing definition of emergency, delaying state and local government emergency declarations. AB 2178 will give the governor and local leaders explicit authority to declare an emergency based upon a PSPS and ensure the rapid deployment of resources needed during this type of emergency.


“PG&E’s poorly planned Public Safety Power Shutoffs exposed deep flaws in the utility that require our immediate action,” said Assemblymember Levine. “We must be decisive in declaring emergencies when families, schools and small businesses are impacted by a PSPS. As we prepare for this year’s wildfire season, AB 2178 will help regions throughout California quickly activate first responders and direct emergency resources necessary to keep families, businesses and communities safe.”


AB 2178 now heads to the State Senate for further consideration.


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