Thursday, August 11, 2011

Utilities hires a helping hand

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM

To better keep tabs on environmental requirements, major projects and regulatory reporting, Colorado Springs Utilities has hired Palo Alto, Calif.-based MetricStream Inc. in a contract valued at $385,679.

MetricStream said in a news release it will provide services associated with governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and environmental management, including the Southern Delivery System water pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir, the Environmental Services Department and the Electric Reliability Compliance Program.

Drak Power Plant
  • Drake Power Plant

We wrote about Utilities' paying a fine to settle several violations of North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) requirements in April.

Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman says that federal regulations of power and water have become so complicated that help in monitoring and complying with them is needed.

In a news release, MetricStream said:

MetricStream solutions will enable the utility service provider to streamline and automate “siloed” GRC initiatives including Compliance and Operational Risk Management, corporate and IT governance and compliance with various regulations, such as NERC, WECC, FERC and other environmental compliance norms. With MetricStream solutions, Colorado Springs Utilities will be able to consolidate existing tools and processes, improve compliance alignment, and automate the management, measurement, gap remediation and reporting of controls in accordance with regulations, standards and policies. The solutions will also provide functional capabilities to incorporate the management of other regulatory processes such as natural gas Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), rules implemented by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and employee safety requirements required by OSHA.

A robust GRC framework guides Colorado Springs Utilities’ business. However, expanding operations and new, large-scale projects have exposed the company to a variety of new risks and complex compliance regulations.

“We wanted to scale up our GRC efforts by integrating various risk and compliance initiatives for better visibility and management. We are delighted that MetricStream can help us meet these objectives,” says Amy Derrickson, IT Project Manager at Colorado Springs Utilities. “MetricStream stood out for us because of its impressive track record in the Energy & Utilities industry. Moreover, the company’s platform is extremely flexible and can seamlessly adapt to our expanding operations and changing GRC needs.”

The idea of the contract is to increase operational efficiency and minimize risk. More from the release:

MetricStream Environmental Management Solution (EMS) will be used to manage and track permit applications, acquisitions, implementations, monitoring, reporting and closure, as well as monitoring and tracking of SDS program mitigations and related environmental commitments. The solution will also help in tracking and assuring compliance with federal, state and regional regulations related to constructions, operations and monitoring. Colorado Springs Utilities Environmental Management Services, which is responsible for all environmental permitting, compliance, auditing and management of construction and facility operations, will use MetricStream EMS for managing air emission related activities, Air Pollution Emission Notifications (APEN), and other potential operational compliance needs in the future.

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