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Coakley Seeks $9.7M From NStar For Storm Response

A fallen tree and downed power lines block a street in North Andover on Oct. 31, 2011, after a powerful fall snowstorm. (AP)
A fallen tree and downed power lines block a street in North Andover on Oct. 31, 2011, after a powerful fall snowstorm. (AP)

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is seeking a $9.7 million fine against NStar after her office found the utility failed to adequately prepare, respond and communicate during Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.

Coakley's office made the recommendation in a brief filed Tuesday with the Department of Public Utilities which has the authority to impose the fine.

Coakley said NStar failed to identify the projected severity of both storms, failed to communicate effectively with customers and municipalities, and failed to respond to public safety calls about downed wires.

NStar Electric President Werner Schweiger is disputing the recommendation, saying the company was one of the first investor-owned utilities to restore power to its customers in both storms and was able to send crews to help other utilities in the October snowstorm.

This program aired on August 8, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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