New York utilities may now participate in mutual aid in event of cyber-attacks


ALBANY – The state’s largest public utilities may now lease or transfer property among themselves and other utilities in the United States and Canada in the event of a cyber-attack.

The state Public Service Commission granted the utilities the permission.

The area utilities that may now participate in the mutual aid pact included Orange and Rockland Utilities, Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, and New York State Electric and Gas Corporation. Also participating will be Consolidated Edison Company of New York, National Grid, Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation, and National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation.

“New York is a hub for significant financial, governmental, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure that has higher than normal risk of cyber-attack for either criminal or geopolitical reasons,’” said PSC Commission Chairman John Howard. Participation by the utilities is “both appropriate and timely in light of the increased recent cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure,” he said.

The PSC said the utilities’ participation in the mutual aid agreement will not adversely affect their provision to provide safe and reliable service as the program participants are under no obligation to respond to assistance requests.