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NERC Announces New Enforcement Initiative Based on Risk to Bulk Power System

On August 4, 2011, NERC issued a media release announcing a new initiative for processing violations of Reliability Standards at its quarterly board meeting in Vancouver. The new process will differentiates noncompliance issues based on potential risk to the reliability of the bulk power system. Issues that pose a more serious risk will be filed at FERC on a monthly basis in a further streamlined spreadsheet Notice of Penalty format.  Issues that pose a low risk to reliability will be processed on a “find, fix, track and report” spreadsheet that will also be submitted on a monthly basis to FERC.  NERC states that this “find, fix, track and report” process recognizes the experience of the Regional Entities and NERC in assessing violations, and builds on the success of Abbreviated Notices of Penalty and the Administrative Citation Notice of Penalty process.  Regardless of the risk level, NERC states, all instances must still be mitigated.  The new process will begin with an initial filing at FERC in September. To view the NERC media release, click here.