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Who to go to with Questions About MRO’s CMEP Program

Have you ever had a question about Compliance Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, or Enforcement and were unsure of who to contact at MRO?

At the September 2023 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program Advisory Council (CMEPAC) monthly call, MRO Director of Compliance Monitoring Bill Steiner gave a presentation on recent personnel changes and who to contact at MRO with questions related to the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP) areas.

The attendees on the call found this information extremely helpful and so the CMEPAC wanted to share it with other registered entities.

Compliance Monitoring

The Compliance Monitoring Department is responsible for regulatory oversight engagements and the development of Compliance Oversight Plans for individual registered entities. An email list that includes department managers and administrative staff was created to respond to compliance-related questions, concerns, or requests: [email protected] 

Risk Assessment and Mitigation

The Risk Assessment and Mitigation (RAM) Department is responsible for performing risk determinations, verifying and approving mitigation plans, and performing Inherent Risk Assessments (IRAs) of individual registered entities. This department is the lead on using the ERO Enterprise Align Tool and performing preliminary document reviews. An email list that includes department managers and administrative staff was created to respond to mitigation-related questions, concerns, or requests: [email protected] 

Enforcement and External Affairs

The Enforcement and External Affairs Department is responsible for determining and issuing dispositions for issues of noncompliance and provides outreach to state and provincial regulators to help local agencies make informed decisions. Enforcement and External Affairs staff are the liaisons with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Canadian regulatory authorities. You may contact the Enforcement and External Affairs staff at [email protected].

You can also reach out to MRO through the Contact Us form on the website. They are happy to assist you!

Additionally, [email protected] and [email protected] are also available to assist entities in strengthening their compliance programs, discuss pending enforceable NERC Reliability Standards, and to provide a forum to discuss topics for CMEPAC consideration for outreach.

For more information on the CMEP, please see this site:

– Mark Buchholz, Compliance Manager, Western Area Power Administration and MRO CMEP Advisory Committee Member


Mark Buchholz graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University. Since that time, he has been employed with the U.S. Department of Energy, Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), serving in various operations and maintenance positions at: WAPA’s Headquarters Office in Lakewood, Colorado; the WAPA-Upper Great Plains Region (WAPA-UGPR) South Dakota Maintenance Office; the WAPA-UGPR Maintenance Engineering Office; and the WAPA-UGPR Watertown Operations Office.

Since May 2010, Buchholz has served as a Compliance Manager for WAPA’s Upper Great Plains Region. He is a member of the NERC Compliance and Certification Committee, MRO’s CMEP Advisory Council, the Mid-Continent Compliance Forum (MCCF) Steering Committee, MRO’s Performance Risk Oversight Subcommittee; and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Reliability Compliance Advisory Council.

Buchholz’s duties as Compliance Manager include providing technical expertise to WAPA management and employees on NERC Reliability Standard compliance issues as they relate to power systems operation and maintenance, transmission planning, physical security, and cybersecurity. He serves as WAPA-UGPR’s technical expert on the NERC Reliability Standards and provides internal guidance and outreach to WAPA employees on the interpretation and application of standards to ensure WAPA-UGPR meets compliance with the requirements of the NERC Standards applicable to its registrations in the Eastern and Western Interconnections. Buchholz’s duties also include oversight of the WAPA-UGPR System Operators Training Program and Facility Management of the Watertown Operations Office Complex.


MRO is committed to providing non-binding guidance to industry stakeholders on important industry topics. Subject matter experts from MRO’s organizational groups have authored some of the articles in this publication, and the opinion and views expressed in these articles are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of MRO.