Wildfire Mitigation Plan
In 2018, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 901 (Dodd, Chapter 626, Statutes of 2018), which addressed a wide range of issues relating to wildfire prevention, response, and recovery. Senate Bill 901 substantially revised the Public Utilities Code Section 8387, eliminating the prior process established by SB 1028 and instead mandated all Publicly-Owned Utilities (regardless of size or wildfire risk) to develop a wildfire mitigation plan (WMP). Pursuant to the amended Section 8387, all Publicly-Owned Utilities (POU) must prepare a wildfire mitigation plan prior to January 1, 2020, and update it annually thereafter. Section 8387(b)(2) specifies WMPs shall consider as necessary, certain specified elements. The “consider as necessary” clause indicates that if certain elements do not apply to a community, such as communities with significant underground facilities or extremely limited tree canopy, then certain elements can be eliminated or minimized, with an explanation. POUs are also required to have their plan reviewed by a qualified independent evaluator to assess the comprehensiveness of the plan, and to publish both the WMP and the evaluator’s report on the POU’s website.