Locke Lord QuickStudy: Texas PUC Amends Rule Requiring ‎Emergency Operations Plans

Locke Lord LLP
March 18, 2022

The Texas PUC recently approved an amendment to its rule 16 Texas Administrative Code § 25.53 governing Emergency Operations Plans (“EOP”). The amended rule requires all power generation companies (“PGCs”), retail electric providers (“REPs”), transmission and distribution utilities (“TDUs”), electric utilities, electric cooperatives and ERCOT to file an EOP that complies with the rule by April 15, 2022. Municipally-owned electric utilities must file their EOP by June 1, 2022. All entities subject to the rule then must file annual updates to their EOP as necessary by March 15 each year. The rule is effective March 20, 2022.

Summary of changes to EOP rule:

  1. An entity seeking registration as a PGC or certification as a REP must file its redacted EOP + executive summary with the PUC at the time it files its application with the PUC, and then submit the unredacted EOP to ERCOT within 10 days after PUC approval of the registration or certification.

  2. EOPs must now include a Record of Distribution containing a table with the titles and names of persons both receiving access to and training on the EOP, along with dates of access or training.

  3. The EOP has always required a supporting affidavit, but now it must be executed by the entity’s highest-ranking representative, official, or officer with binding authority.

  4. An entity may file a joint EOP on behalf of itself and one or more other entities over which it has control so long as the executive summary identifies the EOP sections that apply to each entity and the EOP satisfies the requirements for each entity as if each entity had filed a separate EOP.

  5. More specific formatting requirements for the EOP, an executive summary that includes a reference to specific sections and page numbers that correspond with the rule requirements, and a record of distribution.

  6. EOPs must include specified annexes to address how an entity plans to respond to an emergency involving a specified type of hazard or threat.

The PUC Staff hosted an Emergency Operations Plan on March 11 to address the new requirements for filing an EOP and answer questions. Online video available here. For further questions regarding the amended rule or for assistance in preparing your EOP, please contact the author.