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Public Utility Commission of Texas Posts Line Inspection and Safety Reports

May 15, 2020
All utilities owning or operating transmission or distribution assets in Texas must now make new filings.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas announced the online availability of reports required by House Bill 4150, passed in the 86th Texas Legislature.  Effective September 1, 2019, the bill added a new section to the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) that details reporting requirements for power line inspection and safety, with a focus on power line clearance, for all utilities owning or operating transmission or distribution assets in Texas, including electric co-operatives and municipally-owned utilities.

Effective March 5, 2020, these transmission and distribution utilities in Texas are required to file up to three new reports: annual reports, five-year reports, and employee training reports.

The reports and supporting regulatory documents can be accessed from the PUC Spotlight section of the agency’s website.

Annual Reports
Transmission and distribution utilities operating in Texas must file annual line inspection and safety reports for transmission lines (greater than or equal to 60,000 V and distribution lines (less than 60,000 V). Transmission utilities must report the existence of non-compliant vertical clearances on their systems, and both transmission and distribution utilities must report injuries and fatalities associated with non-compliance and the steps taken to prevent future recurrence.

Five-Year Reports
Every five years a transmission utility must report the percentage of its transmission system that has been inspected for compliance with the National Electrical Safety Code's (NESC) requirements for vertical clearances. The transmission utility must also report the percentage of its system anticipated to be inspected in the next five-year period.

Training Reports
The new law also requires transmission and distribution utilities to provide summaries of their training programs that instruct personnel on hazard recognition and compliance with the clearance and construction requirements of the NESC. Updated reports must be filed within 30 days of changes to a company’s training programs.

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