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PG&E Ordered to Pay $17 Million in Fines for Safety Violations in Contra Costa Cities

The California Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E for failing to conduct safety tests along more than 13 miles of gas pipes in Danville and other Contra Costa County cities.

By Bay City News

The California Public Utilities Commission today confirmed that PG&E will be fined nearly $17 million for irregularities in the utility's gas pipeline safety testing in Contra Costa County.

In January, the CPUC issued a $16.76 million citation for the utility's failure to conduct gas safety tests on more than 13 miles of gas distribution pipelines in several cities in Contra Costa County, including Danville, Antioch, Pittsburg and Concord.

Some stretches of pipeline had not been tested for leaks since 1993, a violation of federal and state pipeline safety regulations, according to the CPUC.

PG&E appealed the citation in February.

The appeal was denied by a CPUC administrative law judge, and the CPUC today re-ordered the utility to pay the citation.

PG&E executive vice president for gas operations Nick Stavropoulos issued a statement saying that the missed leak surveys were self-reported, and that PG&E did not disagree with the safety violations, just the "excessive" amount of money the utility was ordered to pay.

"PG&E understands that when we make a mistake, we own up," Stavropoulos said. "As we stated in our appeal, we believe the penalty amount is excessive because we did the right thing by promptly self-reporting the violation."

Stavropoulos went on to say that PG&E has "dramatically stepped up" its efforts to make sure that its operations and equipment are tested and safe, in the Bay Area and throughout PG&E's service area.

Makoman210 April 20, 2012 at 06:25 PM
well I guess we in c c county can all expect rate increases from PG&E now , every time a fine is levied upon PG&E the customers end up paying for the fines via rate increases ! its amazing that when I filed a case against PG&E through the CPUC they denied my complaint solely on info from PG&E without even looking at my evidence ( I have a small single story single family home with only 2 adults living in and my electric bill went fron $250.00 a month prior to install of the SMART METER to well over $600.00 a month after install of the SMART METER ) my question is now do the residents of these cities now HOPEFULLY get the amount of these fines via rate DECREASES or does the CPUC get the 17 million dollars ?????? yes I know that was a stupid question DUH


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