As we discuss in a separate blog post, FERC and NERC jointly announced yesterday they would consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the ability of operators of the bulk electric system to comply with the Reliability Standards. Today, FERC Chairman Chatterjee announced a suite of temporary operational changes taken by the agency in response to COVID-19.
FERC has also set up a web page for information on its coronavirus response. Here’s our take on how FERC’s operational changes will impact our clients.
FERC announced last week the cancellation of its regular monthly public meeting scheduled for March 19. Instead, the Commissioners will vote on orders notationally.
Even before this announcement, the FERC staff had been declining to schedule in person meetings with outside visitors and begun cancelling scheduled on-site facility inspections. Also, FERC staff were often asked to telework in recent years when protests of fossil fuel projects were anticipated to be held outside the FERC building.
Caroline Wozniak has been designated the Commission’s point of contact for all industry inquiries related to impacts of COVID-19 on their FERC-jurisdictional activities. She is currently the Senior Policy Advisor in FERC’s Office of Energy Market Regulation and prior to that served as an advisor to former Chairman Norman C. Bay.
Regulated entities can email questions to PandemicLiaison@ferc.gov to get prompt responses from the staff.
DWT will provide additional updates on this blog about FERC operational changes in response to the coronavirus.