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Industry groups seek emergency delay of CIP Version 4 cybersecurity standards


From the July 22, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 22, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
APPA and other electric industry associations have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to delay the deadline for complying with Version 4 of the North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure (CIP Version 4), which are currently scheduled to become effective on April 1, 2014. The deadline should be delayed pending action by the commission on a proposed Version 5 of the CIP standards (CIP Version 5) said APPA, the Edison Electric Institute, Electricity Consumers Resource Council, Electric Power Supply Association, Large Public Power Council, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Transmission Access Policy Study Group in a July 17 emergency request for delay.

Absent a delay, entities registered with NERC and subject to the standards will need to begin expending substantial time and resources this summer to meet the April 1, 2014 deadline for complying with CIP Version 4, even though Version 4 is expected to be retired before it takes effect, the associations said. They asked the commission to act on their request by Aug. 15 to "allow registered entities to focus their time and resources preparing for the transition to CIP Version 5."

Particularly given the commission’s comments that it intends to approve NERC’s implementation plan to skip CIP Version 4 and transition directly from CIP Version 3 to CIP Version 5, "there is no useful purpose served by having registered entities expend time and resources attempting to comply with CIP Version 4 standards that are likely to not become applicable," APPA and the others said. "Not only would this be a waste of resources, but it would also divert attention from other compliance efforts generally and relating to CIP Version 5 specifically."

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