On December 31, 2012, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) filed with FERC a new reliability standard, EOP-004-2, that would require certain entities to report any event that impacts or could impact the reliability of the power grid.  Among other requirements, the proposed standard would require responsible entities to establish both an operating plan and a timeframe for reporting the events.  Depending on the type of reportable event, entities required to comply with the standard may include reliability coordinators, balancing authorities, transmission and generator operators, transmission and generator owners, and distribution providers.
NERC explained that the proposed standard is the result of merging two current reliability standards – EOP-004-1, which addresses the reporting and analysis of disturbances, and CIP-001-2a, which focuses on sabotage procedures and reporting requirements.  As such, NERC also asked FERC to retire EOP-004-1 and CIP-001-2a immediately before EOP-004-2 becomes effective.  In addition, NERC explained that, while it had initially tried to addresses FERC’s Order No. 693 directive to further define “sabotage” in EOP-004-2, NERC ultimately determined doing so would only cause ambiguity within the standard.  Instead, NERC chose to develop a list of events within EOP-004-2 that would provide guidance for reporting events, regardless of whether they are caused by a malicious act. 

The proposed standard is comprised of three requirements, R1-R3.  R1 requires the development of an event report operating plan that outlines the procedures for notifying NERC and any other required entities of an event that has or may disrupt reliability.  NERC stated that this requirement will allow personnel a method to recognize a reportable event and notify the appropriate party.  R2 requires the responsible entities to submit an event report within 24 hours after recognition of the event, or by the end of the next business day if the event occurs on a weekend.  R3 requires the responsible entity to maintain updated contact information within the operating plan, and validate that information every calendar year to ensure effective reporting of events.

The proposed standard also contains two attachments.  Attachment 1, titled Reportable Events, lists: (1) the various reportable events; (2) which responsible entities must report under each type of event; and (3) the event threshold level that will require reporting.  NERC stated that the third item in Attachment 1 is a bright-line rule and that the event must be reported if the listed threshold level is reached.  Attachment 2 is the event reporting form responsible entities will use when reporting a reportable event.

NERC requested that the proposed standard take effect on the first day of the first calendar quarter six months after the effective date.  A copy of the petition and proposed standard is available here.