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Energy, Transportation and the Environment: Resolution ETE-12-05

PROTECTING THE PUBLIC FROM SERIOUS INJURY AND DEATH CAUSED BY CONTACT VOLTAGE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS, contact voltage has caused deaths and serious injuries across the country, especially in densely populated urban areas;

WHEREAS, contact voltage results from deterioration of the underground electric distribution infrastructure;

WHEREAS, all conductive surfaces, such as sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, manhole covers, fences, street lights, bus shelters, etc., in the public right of way can become electrified by contact voltage;

WHEREAS, pedestrians and pets can be and have been shocked or killed from coming into contact with an electrified conductive surface;

WHEREAS, most safety actions with respect to contact voltage are not taken until after a tragedy has occurred;

WHEREAS, to date, the only state to have in place a comprehensive regulatory process to protect the public from contact voltage is the State of New York;

WHEREAS, the methodology used in the State of New York has substantially improved public safety; and

WHEREAS, African American state legislators are committed to ensuring the public safety of all residents of, workers in, and visitors to our nation’s urban areas.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), in recognition of the dangers of contact voltage to its constituents, recommends that all state legislators ensure their respective regulators, who are not already doing so, are proactively addressing these dangers;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NBCSL calls upon its membership to make their constituents aware of the risks of contact voltage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.

SPONSOR: Representative Alan Williams (FL)
Committee of Jurisdiction: Energy, Transportation, and Environment Policy Committee
Certified by Committee Chair: Representative Bill Crawford (IN)
Ratified in Plenary Session: Ratification Date is December 9, 2011
Ratification is certified by: Representative Barbara W. Ballard (KS), President

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