PG&E Fined for ’08 Blast

Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 07:11 PM gHale

Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. (PG&E) will receive a $38 million fine for the 2008 gas explosion that killed a Rancho Cordova man, said the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The CPUC will take up the matter at its Dec. 1 meeting.

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If approved, PG&E will pay the full fine to the state general fund within 20 days of the vote, bringing closure to the state’s three-year investigation into the Christmas Eve 2008 explosion.

PG&E previously agreed to pay $26 million to settle the state’s investigation. But last month, the company said it would pay the higher amount, which was set by an administrative law judge who criticized the company for the “severity and gravity” of its errors and failures that contributed to the explosion.

In filings with the CPUC, PG&E admitted it was late responding to complaints of a gas leak, and it installed the wrong pipe when performing repairs on the gas line prior to the explosion, which killed 72-year-old William “Bill” Paana and injured five others.
PG&E has said its customers will not pay for the fines.

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