Fatalities Bring Safety Fines for SCE

Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 05:08 PM gHale


Southern California Edison (SCE) received a $24.5 million fine for safety violations uncovered after a 2011 windstorm left 440,000 customers without lights and a power line failure electrocuted three family members.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the penalty Thursday after Edison agreed to it in March, the commission said.

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Edison gave inaccurate information on power restoration and violated safety standards during the 2011 windstorm, CPUC said.

In a separate incident, blame fell on the utility for a power line that fell to the ground and killed a man, his wife and their son.

An agency investigation found Edison failed to maintain poles or other power equipment that were factors in both cases.

$15 million of the penalty will go to the state’s general fund, and the rest to efforts to quell public safety concerns over electrical conductors and utility pole overloading, CPUC said.

Edison said it submitted a joint motion with the commission’s Safety and Enforcement Division seeking approval of the agreement, and the funds would come from shareholders and would not affect customer rates.

“SCE believes the settlement is in the public interest and allows it to move forward with the utility’s principal mission of providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service,” the utility said.



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