PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The public can submit comments through April 6 about rules changes the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is considering.

The commission’s public hearing Wednesday drew three lawyers representing utility groups. The only other participants were the three elected commissioners and some PUC staff.

The rules changes have been proposed since 2019. Chairman Chris Nelson said the panel will vote on them at its regular meeting April 13.

He said the commission won’t take the same lengthy route the next time a rule change is proposed.

Among the highlights of what’s being considered:

Utilities would have to file decommissioning plans for solar energy facilities, similar to what is now required for wind energy facilities;

Telecommunications companies would have fewer regulations;

Electricians testing for stray voltage would have to complete 40 hours of commission-approved training rather than the current 48.

The public notice on the proposed rules says comments are due through April 4. That is Easter Sunday and state government is on administrative leave April 5. Nelson said the real deadline would be April 6.

The commission’s legal counsel plans to post an updated version of the proposals on the PUC’s website for the rules docket later this week.