EOP-004-3 – Event Reporting


To improve the reliability of the Bulk Electric System by requiring the reporting of events by Responsible Entities.


4.1. Functional Entities: For the purpose of the Requirements and the EOP-004 Attachment 1 contained herein, the following functional entities will be collectively referred to as “Responsible Entity.”

4.1.1. Reliability Coordinator

4.1.2. Balancing Authority

4.1.3. Transmission Owner

4.1.4. Transmission Operator

4.1.5. Generator Owner

4.1.6. Generator Operator

4.1.7. Distribution Provider

5. Effective Dates:

See Implementation Plan for the Revised Definition of “Remedial Action Scheme

6. Background:

NERC established a SAR Team in 2009 to investigate and propose revisions to the CIP-001 and EOP-004 Reliability Standards. The team was asked to consider the following:

  1. CIP-001 could be merged with EOP-004 to eliminate redundancies.
  2. Acts of sabotage have to be reported to the DOE as part of EOP-004.
  3. Specific references to the DOE form need to be eliminated.
  4. EOP-004 had some ‘fill-in-the-blank’ components to eliminate.

The development included other improvements to the standards deemed appropriate by the drafting team, with the consensus of stakeholders, consistent with establishing high quality, enforceable and technically sufficient Bulk Electric System reliability standards.

The SAR for Project 2009-01, Disturbance and Sabotage Reporting was moved forward for standard drafting by the NERC Standards Committee in August of 2009. The Disturbance and Sabotage Reporting Standard Drafting Team (DSR SDT) was formed in late 2009.

The DSR SDT developed a concept paper to solicit stakeholder input regarding the proposed reporting concepts that the DSR SDT had developed. The posting of the concept paper sought comments from stakeholders on the “road map” that will be used by the DSR SDT in updating or revising CIP-001 and EOP-004. The concept paper provided stakeholders the background information and thought process of the DSR SDT. The DSR SDT has reviewed the existing standards, the SAR, issues from the NERC issues database and FERC Order 693 Directives in order to determine a prudent course of action with respect to revision of these standards.

Requirements and Measures

R1. Each Responsible Entity shall have an event reporting Operating Plan in accordance with EOP-004-2-3 Attachment 1 that includes the protocol(s) for reporting to the Electric Reliability Organization and other organizations (e.g., the Regional Entity, company personnel, the Responsible Entity’s Reliability Coordinator, law enforcement, or governmental authority). [Violation Risk Factor: Lower] [Time Horizon: Operations Planning]

M1. Each Responsible Entity will have a dated event reporting Operating Plan that includes, but is not limited to the protocol(s) and each organization identified to receive an event report for event types specified in EOP-004-3 Attachment 1 and in accordance with the entity responsible for reporting.

R2. Each Responsible Entity shall report events per their Operating Plan within 24 hours of recognition of meeting an event type threshold for reporting or by the end of the next business day if the event occurs on a weekend (which is recognized to be 4 PM local time on Friday to 8 AM Monday local time). [Violation Risk Factor: Medium] [Time Horizon: Operations Assessment]

M2. Each Responsible Entity will have as evidence of reporting an event, copy of the completed EOP-004-3 Attachment 2 form or a DOE-OE-417 form; and evidence of submittal (e.g., operator log or other operating documentation, voice recording, electronic mail message, or confirmation of facsimile) demonstrating the event report was submitted within 24 hours of recognition of meeting the threshold for reporting or by the end of the next business day if the event occurs on a weekend (which is recognized to be 4 PM local time on Friday to 8 AM Monday local time). (R2)

R3. Each Responsible Entity shall validate all contact information contained in the Operating Plan pursuant to Requirement R1 each calendar year. [Violation Risk Factor: Medium] [Time Horizon: Operations Planning]

M3. Each Responsible Entity will have dated records to show that it validated all contact information contained in the Operating Plan each calendar year. Such evidence may include, but are not limited to, dated voice recordings and operating logs or other communication documentation. (R3)


1. Compliance Monitoring Process

1.1 Compliance Enforcement Authority

The Regional Entity shall serve as the Compliance Enforcement Authority (CEA) unless the applicable entity is owned, operated, or controlled by the Regional Entity. In such cases the ERO or a Regional Entity approved by FERC or other applicable governmental authority shall serve as the CEA.

1.2 Evidence Retention

The Responsible Entity shall keep data or evidence to show compliance as identified below unless directed by its Compliance Enforcement Authority to retain specific evidence for a longer period of time as part of an investigation:

The following evidence retention periods identify the period of time an entity is required to retain specific evidence to demonstrate compliance. For instances where the evidence retention period specified below is shorter than the time since the last audit, the Compliance Enforcement Authority may ask an entity to provide other evidence to show that it was compliant for the full time period since the last audit.

  • Each Responsible Entity shall retain the current Operating Plan plus each version issued since the last audit for Requirements R1, and Measure M1.
  • Each Responsible Entity shall retain evidence of compliance since the last audit for Requirements R2, R3 and Measure M2, M3.

If a Responsible Entity is found non-compliant, it shall keep information related to the non-compliance until mitigation is complete and approved or for the duration specified above, whichever is longer.

The Compliance Enforcement Authority shall keep the last audit records and all requested and submitted subsequent audit records.

1.3 Compliance Monitoring and Assessment Processes

  •  Compliance Audit
  •  Self-Certification
  •  Spot Checking
  • Compliance Violation Investigations
  • Self-Reporting
  • Complaints

1.4. Additional Compliance Information


EOP-004 – Attachment 1: Reportable Events

NOTE: Under certain adverse conditions (e.g. severe weather, multiple events) it may not be possible to report the damage caused by an event and issue a written Event Report within the timing in the standard. In such cases, the affected Responsible Entity shall notify parties per Requirement R2 and provide as much information as is available at the time of the notification. Submit reports to the ERO via one of the following: e-mail: systemawareness@nerc.net, Facsimile 404-446-9770 or Voice: 404-446-9780.

Submit EOP-004 Attachment 2 (or DOE-OE-417) pursuant to Requirements R1 and R2.

Event TypeEntity with Reporting ResponsibilityThreshold for Reporting
Damage or destruction of a FacilityRC, BA, TOPamage or destruction of a Facility within its Reliability Coordinator Area, Balancing Authority Area or Transmission Operator Area that results in actions to avoid a BES Emergency.
Damage or destruction of a FacilityBA, TO, TOP, GO, GOP, DPDamage or destruction of its Facility that results from actual or suspected intentional human action.
Physical threats to a FacilityBA, TO, TOP, GO, GOP, DPPhysical threat to its Facility excluding weather or natural disaster related threats, which has the potential to degrade the normal operation of the Facility.
Suspicious device or activity at a Facility. Do not report theft unless it degrades normal operation of a Facility.
Physical threats to a BES control centerRC, BA, TOPPhysical threat to its BES control center, excluding weather or natural disaster related threats, which has the potential to degrade the normal operation of the control center.
Suspicious device or activity at a BES control center.
BES Emergency requiring public appeal for load reductionInitiating entity is responsible for reportingPublic appeal for load reduction event.
BES Emergency requiring system-wide voltage reductionInitiating entity is responsible for reportingSystem wide voltage reduction of 3% or more.
BES Emergency requiring manual firm load sheddingInitiating entity is responsible for reportingManual firm load shedding = 100 MW.
BES Emergency resulting in automatic firm load sheddingDP, TOPAutomatic firm load shedding = 100 MW (via automatic undervoltage or underfrequency load shedding schemes, or RAS).
Voltage deviation on a Facility TOPObserved within its area a voltage deviation of ± 10% of nominal voltage sustained for = 15 continuous minutes.
IROL Violation (all Interconnections) or SOL Violation for Major WECC Transfer Paths (WECC only)RCOperate outside the IROL for time greater than IROL T v (all nterconnections) or Operate outside the SOL for more than 30 minutes for Major WECC Transfer Paths (WECC only).
Loss of firm loadBA, TOP, DPLoss of firm load for = 15 Minutes:
= 300 MW for entities with previous year’s demand = 3,000
= 200 MW for all other entities
System separation (islanding)RC, BA, TOPEach separation resulting in an island = 100 MW
Generation lossBA, GOPTotal generation loss, within one minute, of : = 2,000 MW for entities in the Eastern or Western Interconnection
= 1,000 MW for entities in the ERCOT or Quebec Interconnection
Complete loss of off-site power to a nuclear generating plant (grid supply)TO, TOPComplete loss of off-site power affecting a nuclear generating station per the Nuclear Plant Interface Requirement
Transmission lossTOPUnexpected loss within its area, contrary to design, of three or more BES Elements caused by a common disturbance (excluding successful automatic reclosing).
Unplanned BES control center evacuationRC, BA, TOPUnplanned evacuation from BES control center facility for 30 continuous minutes or more.
Complete loss of voice communication capabilityRC, BA, TOPComplete loss of voice communication capability affecting a BES control center for 30 continuous minutes or more.
Complete loss of monitoring capabilityRC, BA, TOPComplete loss of monitoring capability affecting a BES control center for 30 continuous minutes or more such that analysis capability (i.e., State Estimator or Contingency Analysis) is rendered inoperable.

EOP-004 – Attachment 2: Event Reporting Form

event reporting form

Guidelines and Technical Basis

Distribution Provider Applicability Discussion

The DSR SDT has included Distribution Providers (DP) as an applicable entity under this standard. The team realizes that not all DPs will own BES Facilities and will not meet the “Threshold for Reporting” for any event listed in Attachment 1. These DPs will not have any reports to submit under Requirement R2. However, these DPs will be responsible for meeting Requirements R1 and R3. The DSR SDT does not intend for these entities to have a detailed Operating Plan to address events that are not applicable to them. In this instance, the DSR SDT intends for the DP to have a very simple Operating Plan that includes a statement that there are no applicable events in Attachment 1 (to meet R1) and that the DP will review the list of events in Attachment 1 each year (to meet R3). The team does not think this will be a burden on any entity as the development and annual validation of the Operating Plan should not take more that 30 minutes on an annual basis. If a DP discovers applicable events during the annual review, it is expected that the DP will develop a more detailed Operating Plan to comply with the requirements of the standard.

Multiple Reports for a Single Organization

For entities that have multiple registrations, the DSR SDT intends that these entities will only have to submit one report for any individual event. For example, if an entity is registered as a Reliability Coordinator, Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator, the entity would only submit one report for a particular event rather submitting three reports as each individual registered entity.

Summary of Key Concepts

The DSR SDT identified the following principles to assist them in developing the standard:

  • Develop a single form to report disturbances and events that threaten the reliability of the Bulk Electric System
  • Investigate other opportunities for efficiency, such as development of an electronic form and possible inclusion of regional reporting requirements
  • Establish clear criteria for reporting
  • Establish consistent reporting timelines
  • Provide clarity around who will receive the information and how it will be used

During the development of concepts, the DSR SDT considered the FERC directive to “further define sabotage”. There was concern among stakeholders that a definition may be ambiguous and subject to interpretation. Consequently, the DSR SDT decided to eliminate the term sabotage from the standard. The team felt that it was almost impossible to determine if an act or event was sabotage or vandalism without the intervention of law enforcement. The DSR SDT felt that attempting to define sabotage would result in further ambiguity with respect to reporting events. The term “sabotage” is no longer included in the standard. The events listed in EOP-004 Attachment 1 were developed to provide guidance for reporting both actual events as well as events which may have an impact on the Bulk Electric System. The DSR SDT believes that this is an equally effective and efficient means of addressing the FERC Directive.

The types of events that are required to be reported are contained within EOP-004 Attachment 1. The DSR SDT has coordinated with the NERC Events Analysis Working Group to develop the list of events that are to be reported under this standard. EOP-004 Attachment 1 pertains to those actions or events that have impacted the Bulk Electric System. These events were previously reported under EOP-004-1, CIP-001-1 or the Department of Energy form OE-417. EOP-004 Attachment 1 covers similar items that may have had an impact on the Bulk Electric System or has the potential to have an impact and should be reported.

The DSR SDT wishes to make clear that the proposed Standard does not include any real-time operating notifications for the events listed in EOP-004 Attachment 1. Real-time communication is achieved is covered in other standards. The proposed standard deals exclusively with after-the-fact reporting.

Data Gathering

The requirements of EOP-004-1 require that entities “promptly analyze Bulk Electric System disturbances on its system or facilities” (Requirement R2). The requirements of EOP-004-3 specify that certain types of events are to be reported but do not include provisions to analyze events. Events reported under EOP-004-3 may trigger further scrutiny by the ERO Events Analysis Program. If warranted, the Events Analysis Program personnel may request that more data for certain events be provided by the reporting entity or other entities that may have experienced the event. Entities are encouraged to become familiar with the Events Analysis Program and the NERC Rules of Procedure to learn more about with the expectations of the program.

Law Enforcement Reporting

The reliability objective of EOP-004-3 is to improve the reliability of the Bulk Electric System by requiring the reporting of events by Responsible Entities. Certain outages, such as those due to vandalism and terrorism, may not be reasonably preventable. These are the types of events that should be reported to law enforcement. Entities rely upon law enforcement agencies to respond to and investigate those events which have the potential to impact a wider area of the BES. The inclusion of reporting to law enforcement enables and supports reliability principles such as protection of Bulk Electric System from malicious physical attack. The importance of BES awareness of the threat around them is essential to the effective operation and planning to mitigate the potential risk to the BES.

Stakeholders in the Reporting Process

  • Industry
  • NERC (ERO), Regional Entity
  • FERC
  • DOE
  • NRC
  • DHS – Federal
  • Homeland Security- State
  • State Regulators
  • Local Law Enforcement
  • State or Provincial Law Enforcement
  • FBI
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The above stakeholders have an interest in the timely notification, communication and response to an incident at a Facility. The stakeholders have various levels of accountability and have a vested interest in the protection and response to ensure the reliability of the BES.

Present expectations of the industry under CIP-001-1a:

It has been the understanding by industry participants that an occurrence of sabotage has to be reported to the FBI. The FBI has the jurisdictional requirements to investigate acts of sabotage and terrorism. The CIP-001-1-1a standard requires a liaison relationship on behalf of the industry and the FBI or RCMP. These requirements, under the standard, of the industry have not been clear and have led to misunderstandings and confusion in the industry as to how to demonstrate that the liaison is in place and effective. As an example of proof of compliance with Requirement R4, Responsible Entities have asked FBI Office personnel to provide, on FBI letterhead, confirmation of the existence of a working relationship to report acts of sabotage, the number of years the liaison relationship has been in existence, and the validity of the telephone numbers for the FBI.

Coordination of Local and State Law Enforcement Agencies with the FBI

The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) came into being with the first task force being established in 1980. JTTFs are small cells of highly trained, locally based, committed investigators, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists from dozens of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The JTTF is a multi-agency effort led by the Justice Department and FBI designed to combine the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement. Coordination and communications largely through the interagency National Joint Terrorism Task Force, working out of FBI Headquarters, which makes sure that information and intelligence flows freely among the local JTTFs. This information flow can be most beneficial to the industry in analytical intelligence, incident response and investigation. Historically, the most immediate response to an industry incident has been local and state law enforcement agencies to suspected vandalism and criminal damages at industry facilities. Relying upon the JTTF coordination between local, state and FBI law enforcement would be beneficial to effective communications and the appropriate level of investigative response.

Coordination of Local and Provincial Law Enforcement Agencies with the RCMP

A similar law enforcement coordination hierarchy exists in Canada. Local and Provincial law enforcement coordinate to investigate suspected acts of vandalism and sabotage. The Provincial law enforcement agency has a reporting relationship with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

A Reporting Process Solution – EOP-004

A proposal discussed with the FBI, FERC Staff, NERC Standards Project Coordinator and the SDT Chair is reflected in the flowchart below (Reporting Hierarchy for Reportable Events). Essentially, reporting an event to law enforcement agencies will only require the industry to notify the state or provincial or local level law enforcement agency. The state or provincial or local level law enforcement agency will coordinate with law enforcement with jurisdiction to investigate. If the state or provincial or local level law enforcement agency decides federal agency law enforcement or the RCMP should respond and investigate, the state or provincial or local level law enforcement agency will notify and coordinate with the FBI or the RCMP.

example of reporting process including law enforcement

Disturbance and Sabotage Reporting Standard Drafting Team (Project 2009-01) – Reporting Concepts


The SAR for Project 2009-01, Disturbance and Sabotage Reporting was moved forward for tandard drafting by the NERC Standards Committee in August of 2009. The Disturbance and Sabotage Reporting Standard Drafting Team (DSR SDT) was formed in late 2009 and has developed updated standards based on the SAR.

The standards listed under the SAR are:

  •  CIP-001 — Sabotage Reporting
  • EOP-004 — Disturbance Reporting

The changes do not include any real-time operating notifications for the types of events covered by CIP-001 and EOP-004. The real-time reporting requirements are achieved through the RCIS and are covered in other standards (e.g. EOP-002-Capacity and Energy Emergencies). These standards deal exclusively with after-the-fact reporting.

The DSR SDT has consolidated disturbance and sabotage event reporting under a single standard. These two components and other key concepts are discussed in the following sections.

Summary of Concepts and Assumptions:

The Standard: 

  • Requires reporting of “events” that impact or may impact the reliability of the Bulk Electric System
  • Provides clear criteria for reporting
  • Includes consistent reporting timelines
  • Identifies appropriate applicability, including a reporting hierarchy in the case of disturbance reporting
  • Provides clarity around of who will receive the information

Discussion of Disturbance Reporting

Disturbance reporting requirements existed in the previous version of EOP-004. The current approved definition of Disturbance from the NERC Glossary of Terms is:

  1. An unplanned event that produces an abnormal system condition.
  2. Any perturbation to the electric system.
  3. The unexpected change in ACE that is caused by the sudden failure of generation or interruption of load.

Disturbance reporting requirements and criteria were in the previous EOP-004 standard and its attachments. The DSR SDT discussed the reliability needs for disturbance reporting and developed the list of events that are to be reported under this standard (EOP-004 Attachment 1).

Discussion of Event Reporting

There are situations worthy of reporting because they have the potential to impact reliability.

Event reporting facilitates industry awareness, which allows potentially impacted parties to prepare for and possibly mitigate any associated reliability risk. It also provides the raw material, in the case of certain potential reliability threats, to see emerging patterns.

Examples of such events include:

  • Bolts removed from transmission line structures
  • Train derailment adjacent to a Facility that either could have damaged a Facility directly or could indirectly damage a Facility (e.g. flammable or toxic cargo that could pose fire hazard or could cause evacuation of a control center)
  • Destruction of Bulk Electric System equipment

What about sabotage?

One thing became clear in the DSR SDT’s discussion concerning sabotage: everyone has a different definition. The current standard CIP-001 elicited the following response from FERC in FERC Order 693, paragraph 471 which states in part: “. . . the Commission directs the ERO to develop the following modifications to the Reliability Standard through the Reliability Standards development process: (1) further define sabotage and provide guidance as to the triggering events that would cause an entity to report a sabotage event.”

Often, the underlying reason for an event is unknown or cannot be confirmed. The DSR SDT believes that by reporting material risks to the Bulk Electric System using the event categorization in this standard, it will be easier to get the relevant information for mitigation, awareness, and tracking, while removing the distracting element of motivation.

Certain types of events should be reported to NERC, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and/or Provincial or local law enforcement. Other types of events may have different reporting requirements. For example, an event that is related to copper theft may only need to be reported to the local law enforcement authorities.

Potential Uses of Reportable Information

Event analysis, correlation of data, and trend identification are a few potential uses for the information reported under this standard. The standard requires Functional entities to report the incidents and provide known information at the time of the report. Further data gathering necessary for event analysis is provided for under the Events Analysis Program and the NERC Rules of Procedure. Other entities (e.g. – NERC, Law Enforcement, etc) will be responsible for performing the analyses. The NERC Rules of Procedure (section 800) provide an overview of the responsibilities of the ERO in regards to analysis and dissemination of information for reliability. Jurisdictional agencies (which may include DHS, FBI, NERC, RE, FERC, Provincial Regulators, and DOE) have other duties and responsibilities.

Collection of Reportable Information or “One stop shopping”

The DSR SDT recognizes that some regions require reporting of additional information beyond what is in EOP-004. The DSR SDT has updated the listing of reportable events in EOP-004 Attachment 1 based on discussions with jurisdictional agencies, NERC, Regional Entities and stakeholder input. There is a possibility that regional differences still exist.

The reporting required by this standard is intended to meet the uses and purposes of NERC. The DSR SDT recognizes that other requirements for reporting exist (e.g., DOE-417 reporting), which may duplicate or overlap the information required by NERC. To the extent that other reporting is required, the DSR SDT envisions that duplicate entry of information should not be necessary, and the submission of the alternate report will be acceptable to NERC so long as all information required by NERC is submitted. For example, if the NERC Report duplicates information from the DOE form, the DOE report may be sent to the NERC in lieu of entering that information on the NERC report.


During development of this standard, text boxes were embedded within the standard to explain the rationale for various parts of the standard. Upon BOT approval, the text from the rationale text boxes was moved to this section.

Rationale for R1:

The requirement to have an Operating Plan for reporting specific types of events provides the entity with a method to have its operating personnel recognize events that affect reliability and to be able to report them to appropriate parties; e.g., Regional Entities, applicable Reliability Coordinators, and law enforcement and other jurisdictional agencies when so recognized. In addition, these event reports are an input to the NERC Events Analysis Program. These other parties use this information to promote reliability, develop a culture of reliability excellence, provide industry collaboration and promote a learning organization.

Every Registered Entity that owns or operates elements or devices on the grid has a formal or informal process, procedure, or steps it takes to gather information regarding what happened when events occur. This requirement has the Responsible Entity establish documentation on how that procedure, process, or plan is organized. This documentation may be a single document or a combination of various documents that achieve the reliability objective. The communication protocol(s) could include a process flowchart, identification of internal and external personnel or entities to be notified, or a list of personnel by name and their associated contact information. An existing procedure that meets the requirements of CIP-001-2a may be included in this Operating Plan along with other processes, procedures or plans to meet this requirement.

Rationale for R2:

Each Responsible Entity must report and communicate events according to its Operating Plan based on the information in EOP-004-3 Attachment 1. By implementing the event reporting Operating Plan the Responsible Entity will assure situational awareness to the Electric Reliability Organization so that they may develop trends and prepare for a possible next event and mitigate the current event. This will assure that the BES remains secure and stable by mitigation actions that the Responsible Entity has within its function. By communicating events per the Operating Plan, the Responsible Entity will assure that people/agencies are aware of the current situation and they may prepare to mitigate current and further events.

Rationale for R3:

Requirement 3 calls for the Responsible Entity to validate the contact information contained in the Operating Plan each calendar year. This requirement helps ensure that the event reporting Operating Plan is up to date and entities will be able to effectively report events to assure situational awareness to the Electric Reliability Organization. If an entity experiences an actual event, communication evidence from the event may be used to show compliance with the validation requirement for the specific contacts used for the event.

Rationale for EOP-004 Attachment 1:

The DSR SDT used the defined term “Facility” to add clarity for several events listed in Attachment 1. A Facility is defined as:

“A set of electrical equipment that operates as a single Bulk Electric System Element (e.g., a line, a generator, a shunt compensator, transformer, etc.)”

The DSR SDT does not intend the use of the term Facility to mean a substation or any other facility (not a defined term) that one might consider in everyday discussions regarding the grid. This is intended to mean ONLY a Facility as defined above.