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Commission To Continue to Meet To Investigate Sandy Response

11:49 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
e tunnel under West Street at the Battery in NYC is completely flooded to the top. Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY staff
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By Haley Viccaro, Albany Bureau

ALBANY -- The Moreland Commission announced Friday that it will hold three public hearings for people to comment on storm preparation and response of utilities following Superstorm Sandy.

The commission said the hearings would focus on emergency preparedness, response of utilities and the oversight of energy utilities, such as LIPA. Individuals will have the opportunity to comment and make recommendations about these issues at the hearings.

The hearings will be in the Rockaways in Queens on Jan. 17, Staten Island on Jan. 23 and for the Hudson Valley on Jan. 24.

The hearings are open to the public and people who wish to speak at the event have to register for a three-minute comment period. Comments can also be sent by email before or after the hearings at comments@moreland.ny.gov.

The commission unveiled an interim report on Jan. 7, which reported that they already held three public hearings, sent subpoenas to seven utilities and 40 requests for documents and information.

The Public Service Commission oversees the state's utility companies, and the Moreland Commission is calling for them to strengthen their oversight and review of the utilities after the Oct. 29 storm. They are also seeking to enhance LIPA's management structure.

"I don't believe the (Public Service Commission) is really a regulator," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Jan. 7 after viewing a presentation of the report. "And I don't believe these utilities are really regulated entities."

Cuomo established the Moreland Commission on Nov. 13 to investigate the response, preparation and management of utilities in the state after the impact of major storms.

The public hearing in the Rockaways in Queens on Thursday, Jan. 17 will be held at the Challenge Preparatory Charter School on 710 Hartman Lane starting at 6 p.m.

The Staten Island hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 23, will be at the Mid-Island Jewish Community Center of Staten Island on 1466 Manor Road starting at 6 p.m.

The hearing for Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties on Jan. 24 will be held at SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center on 735 Anderson Hill Road starting at 6 p.m.

The Moreland Commission's full interim report can be found at http://moreland.ny.gov/sites/default/files/MAC-Interim-Report1-7-2013.pdf.

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