Electric Reliability

Compliance with the myriad federal and state regulations is a significant challenge to utilities, with agencies increasing their emphasis on enforcement. Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke attorneys assist and counsel clients with proactive and reactive strategies to electric reliability compliance, both Operational (FERC Order No. 693) and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP). DWGP attorneys tailor reliability compliance strategies to the unique needs of each client, including with respect to internal compliance programs, compliance monitoring and enforcement, standards development process and rules of procedure:

Internal Compliance Programs

Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke attorneys provide complete coverage with respect to internal compliance programs. A sampling of the services the Firm provide includes:

  • reviewing internal policies, practices and procedures to assess compliance with FERC and NERC rules to identify and mitigate any potential gaps
  • developing and/or assisting in the development of compliance training programs, including both overview compliance awareness training for all utility employees, and detailed training for personnel that have a direct responsibility for compliance with NERC Reliability Standards
  • developing and/or assisting in the development of internal compliance programs to meet Regional Entity “Internal Compliance Program Assessment” standards
  • conducting internal regulatory compliance seminars and leading workshops
  • answering day-to-day compliance questions

Compliance Monitoring/Enforcement

Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke attorneys guide clients with respect to NERC’s Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement processes, and assist in identifying compliance issues, as well as help resolve these issues quickly and efficiently. The areas in which DWGP attorneys can provide assistance include:

  • addressing NERC registration and certification questions
  • drafting, reviewing and/or consulting on the sufficiency of written responses and documentation packages assembled to respond to self-certification requests
  • conducting or assisting with spot checks to ensure compliance with specific Reliability Standards
  • assisting in self-reporting Possible Violations to the Regional Entity
  • drafting, reviewing and/or consulting on the sufficiency of written responses to periodic data submittal requests from the Regional Entity
  • assisting in the compilation of documentation packages and written explanatory materials to demonstrate compliance with the Reliability Standards expected to be audited in advance of a scheduled compliance Audit
  • preparing written responses and assisting in assembling documentation packages to be submitted in response to the pre-Audit questionnaire, including completing Reliability Standard Audit Worksheets (RSAWs)
  • conducting a gap analysis and mock audits to challenge the entity’s presentation and supporting documentation
  • preparing and conducting witness preparation training for Subject Matter Experts in anticipation of their role in an upcoming audit
  • providing on-site or off-site support during compliance audits
  • drafting responses to Notices of Alleged Violation (NOAVs)
  • negotiating settlements with Regional Entities and NERC
  • drafting and/or reviewing Mitigation Plans
  • representing clients before the FERC Office of Enforcement, NERC and Regional Entities in proceedings regarding alleged violations of NERC Reliability Standards and Notices of Penalty (NOPs)

Standards Development Process and Rules of Procedure

Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke attorneys actively monitor the Standards Development Process at NERC and the Regional Entities, and are able to assist utilities in navigating proposed new or revised Reliability Standards prior to their becoming mandatory and effective. Additionally, DWGP attorneys actively monitor any changes to NERC’s Rules of Procedure to ensure that DWGP clients are made aware of these changes, including:

  • monitoring NERC’s Standards Development Process for new or revised Reliability Standards
  • analyzing the impact of proposed new or revised Reliability Standards during NERC’s Standard Development Process
  • developing and drafting comments, if necessary, in response to NERC filings at FERC, FERC rulemakings regarding proposed Reliability Standards, and Rulemakings regarding NERC Rules of Procedure