On January 6, 2021, the ERO Enterprise extended guidance originally issued in March 2020 for another quarter. The guidance had already been extended and set to expire at the end of the first quarter of 2021, but is now further extended through the second quarter of 2021.
The ERO Enterprise’s guidance and extension for regulatory discretion and onsite compliance activities were issued in response to the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Regulatory discretion will continue to be available for COVID-19 potential noncompliance when COVID-19 contributes materially or completely to the root cause of the issue. Moreover, this extension allows the continuation of regulatory relief by expanding the Self-Logging Program that allows all registered entities to self-log instances of potential non-compliance with minimal or moderate risk related to their coronavirus response. The extension also includes the deferment of on-site activities, including on-site audits, through the end of the second quarter of 2021, unless there is a need due to a high-risk determination. Noting the ERO Enterprise’s success in coordinating remote virtual audits and monitoring activities that were originally scheduled to be on-site in 2020, on-site activities that prioritize risk will return once it becomes safe to do so.
The guidance was originally issued to address the handling of potential noncompliance related to the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance recognized the importance of focusing on the health and safety of personnel and surrounding communities while also continuing the reliability and security of the bulk power system. In accordance with the January 6, 2021 update, registered entities will have the ability to continue to prioritize appropriately under the ongoing public health emergency.
The updated ERO Enterprise Guidance: Potential Noncompliance Related to Coronavirus Impacts can be accessed here. The expiration date for the guidance now indicates June 30, 2021. The ERO Enterprise notes that it will reassess the timeline if needed.