Mass. AG to Seek Fines Against Utility for Outages After Storms

July 27, 2012

National Grid could be facing more than $16 million in fines connected to its response to two major power outages last year.

Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Thursday that her office is recommending penalties against the utility for its inadequate response to Tropical Storm Irene and the surprise October snowstorm in Massachusetts.

Coakley said the violations include “unacceptably low staffing levels” and failure to adequately communicate with municipal officials, first responders and customers. If granted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the penalties cannot be passed on to customers.

National Grid released a statement calling the proposed fines “extreme” while promising to address the response issues.

Hundreds of thousands of customers of National Grid and other utilities lost power during the storms, some for nine days.

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