The Board of Trustees of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) today unanimously agreed to adopt a comprehensive set of reliability standards for the bulk electric system. The new reliability standards incorporate the existing NERC operating policies, planning standards, and compliance requirements into an integrated and comprehensive set of measurable reliability standards. The new standards will apply to all entities that play a role in maintaining the reliability of the bulk electric system in the United States and Canada. NERC developed these reliability standards using its American National Standards Institute-accredited standards development process. Industry stakeholders voted overwhelmingly in January to approve the new standards.

"The adoption of these standards is a significant step forward and also provides a solid foundation for the continuing development of clear, enforceable reliability standards necessary to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk electric system," stated Michehl R. Gent, NERC president and CEO. "NERC is fully committed to work with the industry to implement these new reliability standards across North America on schedule," he emphasized.

FERC Chairman Pat Wood, III, was present as the board adopted the new standards. "To respond to the August 2003 blackout, it was imperative that we develop crisp, enforceable standards. Adopting these new standards is good for customers and good for North America," Chairman Wood stated. "I congratulate the board, the NERC staff, and everyone in the industry who completed this tough task so swiftly."

The new reliability standards take effect on April 1, 2005. To view the new reliability standards, go to: www.nerc.com/~filez/standards/Reliability_Standards.html.