Mass. AG seeks fines against utility for outages
BOSTON (WHDH) -- National Grid got hit with record fines for its slow response to last year’s storms.
State Attorney General Martha Coakley is seeking more than $16 million in fines for the company’s response to the October nor’easter and tropical storm Irene.
The violations include inadequate staffing and a lack of communication with town officials, first responders and customers.
“They have indicated that they use their own expertise or what you might call seat-of-the-pants response, which we think is inadequate for 2012 for being able to anticipate when and where a storm will hit,” said Coakley.
Coakley went on to say the recommendation is similar to one she already made for a company in western Massachusetts. She is also expected to make a similar recommendation for NSTAR.
After the announcement, National Grid released a statement saying: “We will be filing our formal response on the storm proceeding on August 1 with the Department of Public Utilities, and we will wait to see what they find and recommend. While we acknowledge that our storm restoration efforts did not meet our customers' expectations, and there is room for improvement, we strongly disagree with the extreme conclusions the Attorney General has drawn. We will address those issues in our August 1 response to the DPU. We will continue to work to provide the level of service our customers expect and deserve.”