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CPUC Adopts Enforcement Policy to Promote Compliance, Public Safety

Nov. 9, 2020
Policy provides guidance on achieving a consistent approach to enforcement, enforcement actions, settlements, setting penalties.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is taking further action to promote public safety and ensure maximum compliance with CPUC rules, statutes, and other requirements through adoption of a new Enforcement Policy.

Recent action builds on the CPUC's existing enforcement tools and processes with the goal of better serving Californians through transparent and robust enforcement of rules and regulations over the entities the CPUC regulates. The Enforcement Policy provides guidance on achieving a consistent approach to enforcement, enforcement actions, settlements, and setting penalties. It specifically:

  • Establishes nine guiding enforcement principles — ensuring compliance, consistent enforcement, meaningful deterrence; timely enforcement; progressive enforcement; transparency; environmental justice and disadvantaged communities; adaptive management; and enforcement prioritization;
  • Standardizes existing enforcement tools, documents, and procedures to the extent appropriate; and
  • Creates two flexible administrative enforcement tools for staff to use, an Administrative Consent Order and an Administrative Enforcement Order, subject to the CPUC for approval, denial, or modification.

"Enforcement is critical to ensuring that companies comply with our rules and requirements," said Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen. "This policy will make our enforcement programs stronger, more effective, and more consistent."

"The Enforcement Policy framework will promote consistency and ensure robust and efficient enforcement of CPUC mandates," said Commissioner Liane M. Randolph.

The Enforcement Policy is the CPUC's latest effort in enforcing statutes, rules, orders, and other regulations applicable to regulated entities for the betterment of Californians. In developing the policy, CPUC staff presented it to the CPUC's Policy and Governance Committee for input from the public and commissioners on two occasions.

"The Enforcement Policy will guide and lead our efforts in ensuring compliance and timely enforcement, while prioritizing environmental justice and disadvantaged communities," said Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves.

The Enforcement Policy will help ensure that regulated entities provide services and facilities to the public in a manner that is safe, reliable, non-discriminatory, just, and reasonable.

The proposal including the Enforcement Policy is available here. For more information, visit here.

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