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Utility Commission Recommends $2.25 billion Penalty for San Bruno Blast

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San Bruno, PG&E, explosion, gas,

San Bruno, September 9, 2010
Courtesy: CNN


Part of the State’s public utilities oversight group is recommending PG&E face a $2.25 billion penalty in connection with the deadly pipeline rupture and resulting explosion in San Bruno on September 9, 2010.

The Safety and Enforcement Division of the California Public Utilities Commission released their recommendation Monday. It’s in response to three penalty cases arising from the incident.

If the full CPUC accepts the recommended fine, it would be the largest penalty ever imposed by a state regulator.

“I am recommending the highest penalty possible against PG&E, without compromising safety and I want every penny of it to go toward making PG&E’s system safer,” said Brigadier General Jack Hagan, the Director of the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division.

The division said the death toll, physical injuries and damage to homes and the neighborhood from the blast is unsurpassed, and they want all the money from the penalty to go toward ensuring future safety.

The penalty would include what PG&E has already been ordered to spend on safety enhancements.

Under the recommendation, the money would come from shareholder funds, and not be paid by ratepayers. There would also be an independent third-party to oversee the money and how it is spent.

Currently, the largest safety-related penalty imposed by the CPUC was $38 million against PG&E stemming from a gas explosion in 2008 in Rancho Cordova.

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