Maria Barratt-Riley is Executive Director for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Conversations with three Commissioners, some members of Staff, and two illustrious recently-retired regulators from the Gem State.
PUF: What is your role at the Commission?
Maria Barratt-Riley: When people need help, I fix things. Officially I'm over at the administration side of the house. The way we are set up is we have the technical side - utilities - and the administrative.
We do human resources, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and work with our public information officer. It's the work needed to be done to staff all our positions, support them, make sure we have the lights on, computers are working, and everyone's able to come in and do the technical work on the filings.
I have public safety, so that includes pipeline safety. We also have a piece of railroad safety left over from a long time ago, when everything was under the PUC. We do hazmat inspections. I've got a couple of inspectors that go climb rail cars, make sure that nasty stuff isn't leaking, and placards are placed correctly.
PUF: How does that work for rail and pipeline safety?
Maria Barratt-Riley: We have a couple of inspectors. We're small. Idaho had been booming before COVID. It was in the newspaper as the number one place to move to, so lots of new construction.
We operate under the federal PHMSA - Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Act.