The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
*Please note The Regulatory Mix will be on hiatus Wednesday, November 26th through Sunday, November 30th for Thanksgiving*
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced they had reached a settlement with AT&T that resolves allegations that hundreds of AT&T’s California facilities unlawfully disposed of hazardous electronic waste and material over a nine-year period. As part of the settlement, AT&T will pay $23.8 million and spend an estimated $28 million over the next five years to implement the enhanced environmental compliance measures required by the settlement. The settlement and proposed judgment, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, requires approval from the court before becoming final. This is the first enforcement action in California against a telecommunications company for its management of electronic waste. Alameda County DA Nancy E. O’Malley warned that “[w]hether a small local business or a huge international company, my Office will pursue all necessary legal action against entities that pollute our environment. This legal action should put others on notice that local and state agencies will continue to work together to investigate and prosecute violations against our environment.” Upon notice of the investigation, AT&T immediately agreed to cooperate.
Based on a review of Staff’s report on its investigation of CenturyLink’s service outage, the Commission found probable cause to issue a complaint. On November 5, 2013, CenturyLink customers on the San Juan Islands experienced a service outage that isolated them from the mainland, disrupted 911 and long-distance service, and limited interisland calling. The cause of the outage was a break in the underwater cable connecting Lopez Island and the main switch on San Juan Island. The Commission found that CenturyLink violated sections of WAC 480-120-412: three times when it failed, for three days, to inform the Commission that it had detected a major outage; ten times when it neglected to immediately notify the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management and by failing to provide meaningful periodic updates on the status of the outage from November 5 to November 15, 2013; 15,921 times by failing to communicate adequately with its customers at each of its 15,921 access lines; and by failing to implement procedures specific to this outage to disseminate information to the public and public officials.