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FERC approves changes to NERC enforcement program, some reliability standards


From the June 24, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 24, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
The Federal Energy Regulation Commission largely approved a proposal by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. to improve its "Find, Fix and Track" (FFT) program for streamlined handling of minor violations of grid reliability standards. In a June 20 order, the commission conditionally approved four of NERC’s five proposed enhancements. Commissioners rejected a proposal to no longer require senior officers to certify that remediation of a violation was completed.

The changes approved by the commission will:
  • expand the FFT program to include a limited pool of moderate risk violations;
  • afford FFT treatment to possible violations that have not yet been mitigated;
  • Limit NERC’s review of FFT cases to sampling of a subset of cases; and
  • Replace NERC’s monthly filings to the commission with monthly postings to NERC’s websites or those of the regional reliability entities.
In response to NERC's so-called "Paragraph 81" filing, the commission issued a June 20 notice of proposed rulemaking to approve the retirement of 34 requirements within 19 reliability standards that either provide little protection for bulk power system reliability or are redundant with other aspects of the reliability standards. In addition, FERC proposed to withdraw 41 outstanding commission directives that NERC make modifications to reliability standards. Those directives have been addressed in some other manner, are redundant with another directive, or provide general guidance as opposed to a specific directive, the commission said.

Another June 20 FERC order approved a revised reliability standard on event reporting (EOP-004-2), which will replace two existing reliability standards on disturbance reporting and sabotage reporting. The revised standard requires responsible entities to report events to relevant entities, including law enforcement, within a 24-hour period, and identifies the threshold requirements that trigger the reporting requirement.

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
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