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Homeland Security

15 August 2004

Task Force Releases Report on Reducing Power Outage Risk

U.S.-Canadian team tracked causes of August 2003 blackout

A joint U.S.-Canadian task force set up to identify the causes of the power outage that affected eight U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario August 14, 2003, has released a report detailing actions that have been taken since to reduce the risk of another such blackout, the U.S. Department of Energy said in an August 13 press release.

The full text of the report is available in PDF format at:

http://www.energy.gov/engine/doe/files/dynamic/1372004122436_Blackout-OneYearLater.pdf

Following is the text of the press release:

(begin text)

U.S./Canada Report Details Actions Taken to Reduce Blackout Risk

WASHINGTON, DC -- The American and Canadian co-leads of the Power System Outage Task Force, David Meyer and Dr. Nawal Kamel, have released a joint report called The August 14th Blackout One Year Later: Actions Taken to Reduce Blackout Risk. The report details key accomplishments over the last year and identifies major challenges still ahead.

On August 14, 2003, the largest blackout in North American history affected eight U.S. states and the Province of Ontario, leaving up to 50 million people with no electricity. The United States and Canada established a Task Force with the mandate to identify the causes of the power outage and make recommendations to reduce the possibility and scope of future outages.

After its Final Report was issued in April 2004, the Task Force had its mandate extended for a year, underscoring the two governments' commitment to ensuring that its recommendations would be implemented. In the period since the release of the report, government agencies, the North American Electric Reliability Council and the electricity industry have pursued a wide array of initiatives to reduce the risk of future blackouts.

Media contacts:
Jeanne Lopatto, 202/586-4940
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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