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NJ utility regulators issue storm response rules

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Regulators are telling New Jersey’s utilities to improve their preparedness and response to major storms.

The Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday approved 103 measures based on concerns raised during Tropical Storm Irene and an October 2011 snowstorm that followed it.

Regulators are still reviewing how the utilities handled Superstorm Sandy and a snowy nor’easter, which left 2.7 million homes and businesses in New Jersey without electricity for up to 13 days.

The BPU wants utilities to improve communications with customers and towns about power restoration during outages.

The utilities also must develop and submit specific substation flooding preparedness plans that include monitoring prior to and during major storms.

The utilities must implement many of the measures before June 1.