(May 8: Well, I guess this is my "Dewey Beats Truman" post. Of course, I could delete it and spare myself some embarrassment. But as Richard Nixon famously said on one of his tapes, "That would be wrong." If you'd like to see my analysis of where I went wrong, see this post - Tom)
However, there are other things I think FERC may need to do as well, including:
- Holding workshops, as they did with CIP Version 1. V5 is a huge change in CIP, and they’re likely to seek a lot of discussion. These workshops alone should add 2-3 months to the approval process.
- Ordering NERC to conduct a new survey of assets, as they did in 2010. There are a lot of questions about how many facilities are covered in V5, and at what level; in order to judge the bright line criteria in V5, I think FERC will require a survey. The survey took three months in 2010.
- Considering any serious objections from their staff, such as Stephen Flanagan’s (and I am sure there are other staff objections as well).
- I also think it is likely FERC will send V5 back to NERC and require changes (such as the ones discussed in this post); FERC can’t simply change the standard on its own. This will be at least a 90-day process, and more if they require significant changes in V5.
Remember, FERC approved V4 fourteen months after NERC submitted it to them. There are exactly 14 months from when NERC submitted V5 (end of January) through April 1, 2014, when V4 goes into effect. V4 was exactly the same as V3 except for CIP-002; V5 is a radical revision of everything in CIP. Does it stand to reason that FERC would even approve V5 in the same amount of time as they did V4, let alone shave 5 or 6 months off of that?
I’ve separately recommended that the compliance date for V4 be pushed back simply because of all this uncertainty: http://tomalrichblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-cip-version-4-compliance-date-needs.html But for some reason, NERC and FERC don’t just jump whenever I suggest they do something. So I’m certainly not betting that this will happen either.