Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is facing $530,000 in fines for safety violations for failing to “immediately excavate and examine pipelines that showed signs of signs of potential corrosion” and repair potentially hazardous defects, said the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
The fines include $430,000 for violations first discovered during an audit that began in September 2012, and confirmed by another investigation by the regulatory agency that “lasted in 2014.”
The utility ended up fined another $100,000 for letting non-qualified personnel perform field work, causing potential hazards for the public and utility employees. Investigators found those violations during an audit started in November 2013.
“We’re evaluating the citations and it’s important for our customers to know that since these audits took place, we’ve taken action by making significant process improvements,” said Donald Cutler, a PG&E spokesman. “We are working to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of the CPUC.”
PG&E has 10 days to pay up or contest the fines, the CPUC said.
The safety citations are small when you look at the other costs PG&E incurred since the 2010 San Bruno explosion, including a $70 million settlement with the city of San Bruno, $565 million to settle claims with San Bruno victims and families, and a $1.4 billion fine imposed by the CPUC last September, along with $635 million in repairs.