Senator Schumer: More needs to be done to protect New York power plants

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NEW YORK (PIX11)– Are New York’s power plants secure? According to Senator Charles Schumer, more needs to be done to protect them.

Schumer warned Sunday the current system that puts safety regulations in place is not adequate.

He cited an attack last year on a California power plant.

The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that snipers shot down transformers last April at the Silicon Valley plant.

It nearly brought down power to the region.

“With expertise and high powered rifles they put out this plant in a matter of time and they still have not been apprehended,” said Schumer.

In order to prevent something like that from happening here, Schumer said he wants to change how the country regulates power plant security.

Currently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can make security suggestions but Schumer said power companies have a right to veto proposed security requirements.

Instead, he wants Congress to have a say.

“Once Homeland Security and FERC come up with recommendations, we will pass a law to implement them and requiring the power companies to do it,” said Schumer.

Con Edison released a statement Sunday in response to Schumer’s press conference.

“No facilities can ever be completely immune from determined individuals seeking to disrupt or damage critical infrastructure.  We have, however, made substantial investments building redundancies that can help us quickly recover from any major disruptions, and in enhancing surveillance to help capture any individuals who attempt harm.”

Con Ed also said it works with local and federal law enforcement on security measures.