Earlier this month, PG&E was penalized $1.4 billion by the California Public Utilities Commission in relation to the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA. The company was found to have violated nearly 3,800 state and federal laws. The fine is meant to “send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators” in the country.
The 2010 blast killed eight people and injured another sixty-six individuals. Over 160 private lawsuits have been filed by those who lost family members in the explosion, suffered injuries, or had property damage.
San Bruno residents and officials were hopeful that the funds would help to update the pipelines, as well as pipeline safety, but some, including Mayor Jim Ruane, feel that the judgment “[fell] short” in doing so:
“We need a revamping. We’ve asked for an independent monitor to any future actions by the PUC and the utility – any utility – and a pipeline safety trust who in some way is overseeing that and implementing safer pipeline regulations going forward. So, it’s a very unfortunate situation.”
After the explosion occurred, PG&E was found to have waited 95 minutes before shutting off the gas that was fueling the fire. Among this and other violations, the rupture took place in a weak weld within the decades-old pipeline. San Bruno residents are calling for safer pipeline safety regulations