Message from Business Manager Bud Thoman
An hour and a half ahead of the filing deadline, the parties in the Energy Strong proceeding reached a settlement. The agreement grants approval for PSE&G Company to invest $1.22 Billion in the hardening of the Electric and Gas systems that will create more than 2,000 jobs. The investments are listed below;
- Raise/relocate/harden 29 substations - $620 million
- Reconfigure distribution circuits - $100 million
- SCADA - $100 million
- UPCI Main Replacement (approximately 250 miles) - $350 million
- Raise/harden 7 M&R stations & generator for Burlington LNG - $50 million
$1 billion is to be recovered through two new Energy Strong Adjustment Mechanisms qne Gas project costs are recovered annually. Electric project costs are recovered twice a year. The balance (actually $220 million) to be recovered through traditional rate case to be filed no later than November 1, 2017. The company has 5 years to complete the subs and the M&R stations, 3 years for everything else. The main replacement program may be accelerated and done in two years. The company may return at a later date for a second phase.
I did meet with upper management following the settlement agreement and they expressed their thanks for all the support that Local 94 provided. I want to personally thank every member that took the time to attend the hearings. Our testimony, along with our large attendance at the hearings, DID have a major impact on the way the hearings and the decision. Meetings are already under way with the Company over the work and our staffing numbers. As soon as we have something, it will be communicated.
Closing briefs and Executive Sessions were held on the 69kv arbitration case, and the Lawrence Grant arbitration case. The awards are due, any day now. On May 19th, the EPA issued their final rule under 316(b) of the clean water act. The final rule avoids imposing a categorical one-size-fits-all approach to compliance, by using a cost/benefit analysis, on a case by case basis. The Company has assembled a committee to evaluate the impact to each of our Generating Stations. As more information becomes available, I will communicate the results.
During the Spring refuel outage for Salem Unit 2, turning vane bolt heads were discovered on the lower core plate of the reactor vessel. This lead to the decision on May 12th, to extend the Outage and pull all 4 Reactor Coolant Pumps from Salem Unit 2, due to bolt heads shearing off of the turning vanes. This has never been done at Salem and never was anticipated. Between management and LU 94, we worked out an additional 3F schedule for Maintenance to pull all 4 RCP motors. This was done in 2 short weeks. All 4 pumps had to be sent out to vendors to correct the problem, 2 to Areva in Virginia and 2 to Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, PA. As of June 21st, all 4 pumps are back in and Maintenance is putting the motors back in and electricians are wiring them back up. Start up is scheduled for 4th of July weekend, which is weeks ahead of schedule.
The new contract books are being printed as we speak, and will be distributed to all locations, shortly.
Congratulations to Palisades Division on another successful Tank Pull, in support of the "Wounded Warrior Project". In their 5th year of competition, Local 94's "Pullin Badgers" took first place in their division by raising $8,800 in honor of IBEW Local 94 member Sgt. James Harvey II, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
Enjoy a safe and relaxing 4th of July weekend Local 94 and continue to keep up the good work in these summer months.