Wednesday August 8, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts attorney general is seeking a nearly $10 million in fines from electric utility NStar for what she calls "inadequate" responses to two major storms last year that left hundreds of thousands of customers without power, some for days.

Attorney General Martha 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.

The attorney general says NStar failed to properly anticipate the severity of Tropical Storm Irene in August and a late October snow storm; failed to communicate effectively with customers and government officials; and failing to respond to calls about downed wires.

If granted, the fines cannot be passed on to customers.

NStar responded by saying it complied with a state-approved storm response plan.