Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 779 – Stray voltage protocol
HOUSE BILL NO. 779
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H0779......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
STRAY VOLTAGE PROTOCOL - Adds to existing law to provide legislative
intent; to define terms; to provide that the Public Utilities Commission
shall formulate and adopt a standardized protocol for use by all persons
and entities addressing complaints of stray voltage involving public
utilities regulated by the Commission; to provide duties of the Commission;
and to provide the effect of compliance by a public utility with the
standardized investigation and remediation protocols adopted by the
02/26 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/27 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-seventh Legislature Second Regular Session - 2004
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 779
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO STRAY VOLTAGE PROTOCOL OF PUBLIC UTILITIES; AMENDING CHAPTER 5,
3 TITLE 61, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 61-515B, IDAHO
4 CODE, TO PROVIDE LEGISLATIVE INTENT, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE
5 PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION SHALL FORMULATE AND ADOPT A STANDARDIZED PRO-
6 TOCOL FOR USE BY ALL PERSONS AND ENTITIES ADDRESSING COMPLAINTS OF STRAY
7 VOLTAGE INVOLVING PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATED BY THE COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE
8 DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION AND TO PROVIDE THE EFFECT OF COMPLIANCE BY A PUB-
9 LIC UTILITY WITH THE STANDARDIZED INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION PROTOCOLS
10 ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
12 SECTION 1. That Chapter 5, Title 61, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
13 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
14 ignated as Section 61-515B, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
15 61-515B. STRAY VOLTAGE PROTOCOL. (1) It is recognized by the legislature
16 of the state of Idaho that the efficient and safe distribution of electricity
17 is critical to the success of businesses in Idaho including the business of
18 agriculture. It is also recognized that the potential impact of stray voltage
19 on dairy cows is a matter of interest and concern to citizens of this state
20 and in particular to dairy farmers situated near and served most commonly by
21 multigrounded wye single-phase electrical distribution systems. Extensive sci-
22 entific research has established a level of concern for voltage or current
23 below which stray voltage will not affect a cow's behavior or milk production.
24 To provide for the continued efficient availability of electricity by public
25 utilities regulated by the Idaho public utilities commission while addressing
26 concerns over stray voltage, it is necessary and appropriate to establish
27 standardized protocols to be used for the investigation of stray voltage com-
28 plaints and, where justified, remediation of stray voltage above this level of
30 (2 As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
31 (a) "Cow contact points" means two (2) points which a cow can simulta-
32 neously contact and which contact is involuntary.
33 (b) "Steady-state" is defined as the value of a current or voltage after
34 an amount of time where all transients have decayed to a negligible value.
35 (c) "Stray voltage" is a natural phenomenon that can be found at low lev-
36 els, less then ten (10) volts, between two (2) contact points in any cow
37 confinement area where electricity is grounded.
38 (d) "Threshold level of concern" with regard to cattle means four (4)
39 milliamps alternating current (AC), sixty hertz (60Hz), root mean square
40 (rms), steady-state or two (2) volts AC, 60Hz, rms, steady-state measured
41 across a five hundred (500) ohm resistor between cow contact points.
42 (3) The commission shall formulate and adopt a standardized protocol for
43 use by all persons and entities addressing complaints of stray voltage involv-
1 ing public utilities regulated by the commission to: (a) investigate stray
2 voltage complaints including the measurement of voltages and currents; and (b)
3 remediate stray voltage above the threshold level of concern when that
4 remediation is necessitated by application of the investigation protocol. In
5 the event of a dispute regarding the necessity of remediation the commission,
6 after a hearing upon its own motion or upon complaint, shall determine whether
7 remediation is necessitated by the application of the investigation protocol.
8 (4) The commission is directed to use the threshold level of concern
9 defined in this section in developing and applying its investigation and
10 remediation protocols.
11 (5) Compliance by a public utility with the standardized investigation
12 and remediation protocols adopted by the commission for addressing a stray
13 voltage complaint shall constitute the providing of adequate service under
14 section 61-302, Idaho Code, by that public utility concerning such stray volt-
15 age complaint.
16 SECTION 2. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
17 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
18 passage and approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation establishes, for public utilities regulated by
the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, a threshold level of
concern for stray voltage which may affect dairy cows and
requires the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to develop and
adopt a standardized protocol using the threshold level of
concern for use by all persons and entities to investigate and,
if necessary, remediate stray voltage on dairy farms. Disputes
regarding the necessity of remediation shall be determined by the
Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Compliance with the
standardized protocol regarding investigation and remediation
adopted by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission shall constitute
the providing of adequate service by a public utility regulated
by the Commission
There is no impact on the General Fund.
Name: Rich Hahn
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 779