Senate Study Bill 1045 - Introduced SENATE/HOUSE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE/UTILITIES DIVISION BILL) A BILL FOR An Act relating to public utilities and other infrastructure, 1 including the confidentiality of certain information 2 relating to such infrastructure, the authority of utilities 3 to make temporary rate changes, and presiding officers at 4 public information meetings held for electric transmission 5 line franchise petitions. 6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 7 TLSB 1370XD (3) 87 gh/rn/nh
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ Section 1. Section 22.7, subsection 45, Code 2017, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 45. The critical asset protection plan or any part of the 3 plan prepared pursuant to section 29C.8 and any information 4 held by the department of homeland security and emergency 5 management that was supplied to the department by a public or 6 private agency or organization and used in the development 7 of the critical asset protection plan to include, but not be 8 limited to, surveys, lists, maps, or photographs. However, 9 the director shall make the list of assets available for 10 examination by any person. A person wishing to examine the 11 list of assets shall make a written request to the director 12 on a form approved by the director. The list of assets may 13 be viewed at the department’s offices during normal working 14 hours. The list of assets shall not be copied in any manner. 15 Communications and asset information not required by law, rule, 16 or procedure that are provided to the director by persons 17 outside of government and for which the director has signed a 18 nondisclosure agreement are exempt from public disclosures. 19 The department of homeland security and emergency management 20 may provide all or part of the critical asset plan to federal, 21 state, or local governmental agencies which have emergency 22 planning or response functions if the director is satisfied 23 that the need to know and intended use are reasonable. An 24 agency receiving critical asset protection plan information 25 from the department shall not redisseminate the information 26 without prior approval of the director. 27 Sec. 2. Section 22.7, Code 2017, is amended by adding the 28 following new subsection: 29 NEW SUBSECTION . 70. Infrastructure information and 30 records, including cyber security information, the disclosure 31 of which may expose or create vulnerability to critical 32 infrastructure systems, held by the utilities board of 33 the department of commerce or the department of homeland 34 security and emergency management for purposes relating to the 35 -1- LSB 1370XD (3) 87 gh/rn/nh 1/ 4
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ safeguarding of telecommunications, electric, water, sanitary 1 sewage, storm water drainage, energy, hazardous liquid, natural 2 gas, or other critical infrastructure systems. For purposes of 3 this subsection, “cyber security information” includes but is 4 not limited to information relating to cyber security defenses, 5 threats, attacks, or general attempts to attack cyber system 6 operations. 7 Sec. 3. Section 476.6, subsection 9, paragraph a, Code 2017, 8 is amended by striking the paragraph. 9 Sec. 4. Section 476.6, subsection 9, paragraph b, Code 2017, 10 is amended to read as follows: 11 b. A public utility may choose to place in effect temporary 12 rates, charges, schedules, or regulations without board review 13 on or after ten days after following the filing date under this 14 section . If the utility chooses to place such rates, charges, 15 schedules, or regulations in effect without board review , the 16 utility shall file with the board a bond or other corporate 17 undertaking approved by the board conditioned upon the refund 18 in a manner prescribed by the board of amounts collected in 19 excess of the amounts which would have been collected under 20 rates, charges, schedules, or regulations finally approved 21 by the board. At the conclusion of the proceeding if the 22 board determines that the temporary rates, charges, schedules, 23 or regulations placed in effect under this paragraph were 24 not based on previously established regulatory principles, 25 the board shall consider ordering refunds based upon the 26 overpayments made by each individual customer class, rate zone, 27 or customer group. If the board has not rendered a final 28 decision with respect to suspended rates, charges, schedules, 29 or regulations upon the expiration of ten months after the 30 filing date, plus the length of any delay that necessarily 31 results either from the failure of the public utility to 32 exercise due diligence in connection with the proceedings or 33 from intervening judicial proceedings, plus the length of any 34 extension permitted by section 476.33, subsection 3, then such 35 -2- LSB 1370XD (3) 87 gh/rn/nh 2/ 4
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ temporary rates, charges, schedules, or regulations placed into 1 effect on a temporary basis shall be deemed finally approved 2 by the board and the utility may place them into effect on a 3 permanent basis. 4 Sec. 5. Section 478.2, subsection 2, paragraph a, Code 2017, 5 is amended to read as follows: 6 a. A member of the board, the counsel of the board, or a 7 hearing examiner presiding officer designated by the board 8 shall serve as the presiding officer at each meeting, shall 9 present an agenda for such meeting which shall include a 10 summary of the legal rights of the affected landowners, and 11 shall distribute and review the statement of individual rights 12 required under section 6B.2A, subsection 1 . A formal record of 13 the meeting shall not be required. 14 EXPLANATION 15 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 16 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 17 This bill modifies several provisions relating to public 18 utility regulation and the confidentiality of information held 19 by the department of homeland security and emergency management 20 and the Iowa utilities board. 21 Code section 22.7 lists public records that must be kept 22 confidential from public disclosure, including critical asset 23 protection plan information held by the department. However, 24 Code section 22.7(45) allows the public to examine a list of 25 assets made available by the director of the department. The 26 bill deletes this provision. 27 The bill further amends Code section 22.7 by making 28 infrastructure information and records relating to the 29 safeguarding of critical infrastructure systems such as 30 telecommunications, electric, water, sanitary sewage, storm 31 water drainage, energy, hazardous liquid, and natural gas, held 32 by the department and the utilities board confidential from 33 public disclosure. This includes “cyber security information”, 34 defined in the bill as including but not limited to information 35 -3- LSB 1370XD (3) 87 gh/rn/nh 3/ 4
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ relating to cyber security defenses, threats, attacks, or 1 general attempts to attack cyber system operations. 2 Code section 476.6(9) authorizes utilities to collect higher 3 rates on a temporary basis while the utilities board conducts 4 a rate review proceeding. To do so, utilities have the 5 option of either first obtaining board review before temporary 6 rates are placed into effect, or implementing temporary rates 7 without board review within 10 days after filing for temporary 8 rates, subject to the board’s authority to require refunds for 9 overpayment if the board later determines that the temporary 10 rates were not based on previously established regulatory 11 principles. The bill removes the option for utilities to first 12 request board review before implementing temporary rates. 13 Therefore, utilities seeking temporary rate changes may do 14 so only by implementing the rates, without the board’s prior 15 approval, on or after 10 days following the filing date with 16 the board. If the board fails to make a final decision on 17 a temporary rate change within 10 months after filing, the 18 temporary rates are deemed approved by the board and may be 19 placed into effect on a permanent basis. 20 Code chapter 478 requires any person wanting to operate 21 and maintain electric transmission lines to file a petition 22 for a franchise from the utilities board. Under the process 23 described in Code section 478.2, a person must first hold a 24 public information meeting in each county where real property 25 or rights will be affected, at least 30 days prior to filing a 26 petition. Code section 478.2(2)(a) requires either a member of 27 the board, the counsel of the board, or a “hearing examiner” 28 designated by the board to serve as the presiding officer for 29 a public information meeting. The bill replaces the term 30 “hearing examiner” with “presiding officer”. Therefore, either 31 a member of the board, the counsel of the board, or a presiding 32 officer designated by the board can serve as the presiding 33 officer at a public information meeting. 34 -4- LSB 1370XD (3) 87 gh/rn/nh 4/ 4