As a powerful nor’easter bore down on Rhode Island last week, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) submitted legislation that would require the burying of power lines in places that have long-lasting power outages.
The legislation (2018-H 7774) would require an electric utility to bury power lines in the event of a residential power outage lasting 96 consecutive hours or more, unless the outage was caused by the resident.
“Once again, we’re seeing thousands of residents without power from the ferocious winds of this latest storm,” said Representative Solomon. “It’s much more than an inconvenience. Because of the reality of our reliance on electricity, to go for long periods of time without it can quickly become a public safety and public health issue.”
Under the provisions of the bill, the electric transmission company would be required to create and execute a plan to bury the electric transmission lines servicing that residential customer within two years of the loss of electrical power.
The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Evan Patrick Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick), has been referred to the House Committee on Corporations.