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Moreland Commission Holds Public Hearing at BU

The Moreland Commission is a diverse group of 10, including a former attorney general and a university president. 

This commission was formed shortly after Superstorm Sandy left New York residents without power for weeks.

On Wednesday, members of the commission came to Binghamton University for a public hearing, inviting government and emergency responses officials to speak about their experiences with NYSEG before, during and after storms.

The Commission is currently investigating the response, preparation and management of New York's power utility companies-- focusing on power restoration after Hurricane Sandy as well as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee--two storms that devastated the Southern Tier.

Many were on-hand to give their comments, and most were positive.  Many said they felt NYSEG was adequately prepared for the storms and effectively communicated  estimated restoration times with officials.

Alan Hertel of the United Way says they had 12,000 people call for information after Tropical Storm Lee, and were able to keep those callers informed thanks to good communication with NYSEG.

"We had been getting regular updates from NYSEG.  Information about the interruptions expected, duration, expected restoration by general areas.  Where dry ice, where water sites were," said Alan Hertel of the United Way.

"What we're learning is some of the best practices--how some utilities responded in certain ways  and how other utilities are not responding and we'll be making recommendations," said Regina Calcaterra, executive director of the Moreland Commission.

The Commission's executive director says through these public hearings and investigations, they found stricter penalties are needed for power companies when they don't do their job in a timely fashion, including greater fines. 

Wednesday marked the 11th and final public hearing that was held across the state. 

The Commission hopes to have a full review of what power companies are doing well and what they can improve on by June.

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