This story by Elanie Turner was published June 20, 2011 by the Sacramento Business Journal.
The California Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Protection and Safety Division on Monday proposed fining Pacific Gas and Electric Co. $26 million in shareholder funds for a 2008 gas leak and explosion in Rancho Cordova that killed one person and injured five others.
If approved by the CPUC’s commissioners, it would be the largest safety-related fine assessed by the commission in more than a decade. PG&E admits, in a resolution filed today by the CPUC safety division, that it violated safety laws in connection with the Rancho Cordova explosion, according to the CPUC.
The resolution has been agreed to by the Consumer Protection and Safety Division and PG&E. Under the agreement, PG&E would pay $26 million fine in shareholder funds to the state’s general fund and admits to violating pipeline safety regulations, including:
– The pipe that was installed at Paiute Way in September 2006 was not authorized for gas service;
– A pipe used in a repair at Paiute Way was not pressure tested in a manner required by law prior to reinstate gas service; and
– PG&E’s response to a resident’s Dec. 24, 2008, telephone call reporting an outdoor gas leak odor on Paiute Way was “unreasonably delayed and not effective.”
PG&E would also reimburse the CPUC’s investigation and proceeding costs.