BPU to hold two public hearings

TRENTON – The Board of Public Utilities has scheduled two public hearings to collect feedback from residents and elected officials regarding the utility response in the wake of Hurricane Irene nearly three weeks ago.

The hearings, both of which will take place  from 4 to 7 p.m., will be held at the Monmouth County Library, 125 Symmes Drive, in Manalapan, on Sept. 26, and the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy, 500 West Hanover Ave., Morris Plains, on Wednesday. Sept. 27.

The BPU is planning to schedule additional hearings in other hard-hit areas.

Officials from the state’s four regulated electric companies – JCP&L, PSE&G, Rockland, and Atlantic City Electric- are expected to be at these, or future, hearings.  

BPU communications director Gregory Reinert said  the purpose of the hearings will be to collect information on where improvements can be made in planning and response in future events.  

“A lot of the complaints we heard was on the whole issue of communication during the event. They were basically unable to reach out (to utility companies).”

There were numerous instances of power outages, with approximately 1.5 million outages taking place at one time or another during the hurricane, according to the state Office of Emergency Management. Utility officials have attributed the longer-than-expected restoration periods to road closures, severe damage and staffing.

 For more information on the hearings, contact 609-777-3305.

BPU to hold two public hearings