“Mayor Gray Announces Members and First Meeting of Power Line Undergrounding Task Force”

Photo by PoPville flickr user UrsulaAntares

From a press release:

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the membership and that the first meeting of the newly formed Mayor’s Task Force on Power Line Undergrounding will be held on Thursday, August 23rd at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in Room G-9 of the John A. Wilson Building, located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and is open to the public.

“I called for a ‘game-changer’ after the repeated power outages caused by this summer’s severe storms and delays in restoring power to many District residents. The undergrounding task force will finally develop long-term solutions to these all-too-frequent disruptions,” said Mayor Gray. “This group will be tasked with gathering information to develop plans that will, over time, greatly reduce the impacts of severe weather on our power grid.”

The task force will be co-chaired by City Administrator Allen Y. Lew and PEPCO Holdings Chairman Joseph Rigby. Other task force members will include Herb Harris of Ward 7 and Matt Frumin of Ward 3, representatives of two areas that routinely experience the highest number of outages.

Aditionally, task force members will include: Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs; Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander; Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi; District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy; District Department of the Environment Director Christophe Tulou; Department of Public Works Director William Howland; Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance Director Eric Goulet; D.C. Public Service Commission Chair Betty Ann Kane; People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye; Verizon Vice President for Government Affairs Karen Campbell; and Comcast Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Donna Rattley-Washington.

The meeting agenda includes a public comment period. Members of the public with disabilities or possible language barriers and those who wish to speak during the public comment period are requested to register at least three (3) business days before the meeting.

To register, please provide your name, your telephone number or email address, and organizational affiliation (if any) to Phyllis Love by telephone at 202.478.9200 or by email at [email protected] The time limit for speakers is three (3) minutes. Public speakers are also requested to submit at least two (2) written copies of their testimony at the meeting.

The Task Force is committed to making its meetings and vital documents accessible to the public. All non-proprietary documents will be posted to the special task force section of the Office of the City Administrator website at www.oca.dc.gov.

6 Comment

  • Oh good! A task force!

  • Nothing says game changer like a blue ribbon panel directed to gather information.

  • anon. gardener

    “undergrounding”? seriously?

  • All well and good but the last time this issue was investigated only a couple of years ago, the “undergrounding” solution was found to be way too expensive – or at least too expensive for consumers to want to pony up for it; they are quite willing to have the utility companies foot the bill. So what’s changed?

  • Sink the dam lines. 600,000+ residents in DC. Raise everyone’s power bill 5 dollars a month for the next 10 years (this is a rough estimate, obviously adjust for house/apartment size) Get the rest of the money from the feds or municipal bonds.

    • Assuming 250,000 customers, which I think is high, your proposal would generate about 150 million dollars. As the low end estimate I heard is 1.5 billion, your idea would work if you raised everyones rates 50 a month instead of 5. Not going to happen. Undergrounding everything is extrememly expensive.

      Focus on undergrounding some of the main feeder lines, even that will be costly and of limited usefulness. During the last storm they returned power to those who lost it becuase of a main line going down within 24 hours or so. What took the longest time are all of the lines that served 4 or 5 people that had to be replaced. It takes just as long to make that fix for a few people as it does to fix a main line that serves thousands.

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