News Release: March 19, 2020
Coronavirus Update: FERC Announces Point of Contact on Pandemic Response
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee today named Caroline Wozniak as the Commission’s point of contact for all industry inquiries related to impacts of their COVID-19 preparations and responses on their FERC-jurisdictional activities.
Members of the regulated community can email PandemicLiaison@ferc.gov to receive prompt responses to their questions from Commission staff.
“As we grapple with this unprecedented public health emergency, it’s critical that the entities FERC regulates are able to quickly and efficiently receive guidance regarding their pandemic preparations and operations,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said. “During this time, the Commission must work closely with our federal, state and industry partners to ensure that Americans have access to reliable energy.”
FERC’s Office of External Affairs remains the point of contact for public, media, congressional and state inquiries. Also today, the Commission announced the following pandemic response efforts:
- The Office of the Secretary has issued a notice for extension of time to provide more flexibility on deadlines for certain required filings that are due on or before May 1, 2020. Those filings include non-statutory items required by the Commission such as compliance filings and responses to deficiency letters, and rulemaking comments, as well as forms required by the Commission, except for FERC Form No. 6. The deadline extension also will apply to filings required by entities’ tariffs or rate schedules.
- The Secretary’s Notice also indicates that entities may seek extensions for other deadlines and may seek waiver of Commission orders, regulations, tariffs and rate schedules, as appropriate, and that the Commission will act expeditiously on those other requests.
- FERC’s Office of Enforcement is postponing all previously scheduled audit site visits and investigative testimony. The Commission is actively exploring other ways we can lift burdens on the regulated community and will adjust other deadlines as appropriate. The Office of Enforcement will also act expeditiously in granting extensions and waivers of compliance filings, forms and EQRs, as appropriate. The Commission is committed to ensuring that industry can focus on continuity, safety and stability—not regulatory or enforcement matters that are not mission-critical during this crisis.
- Technical conferences scheduled through May 2020 will be conducted via conference call or WebEx, or postponed. Schedules will be posted to the FERC.gov calendar.
- Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Carmen Cintron has postponed one hearing scheduled to start April 7 and will make case-specific calls on other hearings as their start dates approach. ALJ settlement conferences will continue via conference call.
- In addition, the Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) announced steps they are taking to ensure that bulk electric system operators can primarily focus their resources on safety and keeping the lights on during this public health emergency. FERC and NERC will consider the effects of the coronavirus in compliance matters. Regional Entities’ on-site audits, certifications and other on-site activities will be postponed.
In order to keep the public and all stakeholders informed, the Commission has developed a landing page on the FERC.gov website, where regular updates will be posted. The Commission remains committed to carrying out its important mission of ensuring the safety, reliability and security of the nation’s energy infrastructure.
FERC, the Department of Energy and NERC will continue to closely coordinate across the government and with industry partners to carefully monitor the situation and support response efforts. R-20-19