State regulators have told utility companies to have make-safe crews, community liaisons and functional outage reporting systems after storms, all items towns requested after Storm Isaias.

The orders from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority grant most of what area towns requested after power outages lingered for more than a week in the wake of the storm.

“... this is an excellent ruling and PURA largely granted our motion,” Attorney David Ball of Cohen and Wolf wrote to the officials in Ridgefield, Newtown, New Fairfield, the three towns that had filed the original complaints against Eversource’s handling of the storm. Bethel later joined the action.

The Sept. 23 ruling amounts to marching orders for Eversource and United Illuminating, the state’s two main “electric distribution companies” or “EDCs” as PURA refers to them.

“The Authority hereby directs both Eversource and UI to deploy Make Safe crews to each municipality in accordance with the protocol that has been established,” the PURA ruling said.

“The Authority expects the EDCs plant in service to operate as intended, including all outage reporting systems…

“The Authority directs the EDCs to implement their Public/Community Liaison organizations with all municipalities in their respective service territories in accordance with their approved emergency response plans.”

In an email summarizing the ruling to the client towns, Ball wrote:

“PURA directed both Eversource and UI to deploy Make Safe Crews in accordance with the Annex protocol that we identified in our motion. While PURA did not deviate from the existing protocol by ordering Make Safe Crews to be deployed prior to the next weather event, I read this order as PURA having zero tolerance for any future violation of the Make Safe Crew protocol.

“PURA directed the EDCs to implement their outage reporting systems as intended in their Emergency Response Plans.

“PURA directed the EDCs to implement their Community Liaison programs in accordance with their Emergency Response Plans. In addition, PURA directed the EDCs to have their designated town liaison communicate with every town emergency response manager prior to any storm.

“In addition, as we had requested, PURA directed the EDCs to hold a meeting with each town, the EDC liaison, and at least one member of its operations personnel. This meeting is ordered to take place no later than October 16, 2020.

“I don’t think we could have expected a better response from PURA,” Attorney Ball said. “If the EDCs fail to follow these any of these orders in the future, I am confident that PURA will issue sanctions immediately.”