WASHINGTON - Almost two months after the derecho ripped through the region leaving more than one million customers without power, regulators' investigation into how utility companies handled the storm is moving into a new phase.
The Maryland Public Service Commission wrapped up the last of eight public hearings Wednesday night at the Charles County Government Building in La Plata. But unlike the high turnout at prior hearings, no one showed up to testify.
PSC Chairman Doug Nazarian says the other hearings drew at least 200 people.
"We've gotten a lot of written comments as well. We read all of them and we take them all very seriously," says Nazarian. "We've learned a lot of useful and helpful things that we'll take into our hearings with utility companies on the 13th and 14th of September."
During those hearings, Nazarian says the PSC will go over the utilities' major storm reports and review issues and questions raised both by the public and commission staff.
"At the end of those two days, we won't order probably anything right then. But we'll have at that point a record on which to decide whether there are issues that need follow up, whether there are issues that might lend themselves to further review of possible penalties and things like that ... the ball will get into our court at that point to start making decisions about what to pursue," says Nazarian.
Those who didn't attend a hearing can still submit written comments until Sept. 10.
They can be mailed to this address:
David J. Collins, Executive Secretary
Maryland Public Service Commission
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, Md. 21202
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