The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that they are opening up an investigation of what the Commission calls a “Systemic Violation of Rules” governing pipeline safety due to PG&E’s consistent and conscious efforts of falsifying gas pipeline safety records: all in direct violation of Public Utility Commission rules and guidelines. The commission’s investigation is focused in the falsification of records over a five year period.
These falsified reports include records from 2012 to 2017 where there were inadequate staffing to adequately inspect natural gas pipelines. As a result, certain PG&E staff falsified data to indicate pipelines were located and inspected when in fact they were not. The PUC is also alleging that supervisors knew it was falsified data and allowed the data anyway to be filed with the PUC.
This is very serious and follows the gas pipeline explosion in 2010 that devastated a San Bruno neighborhood south of San Francisco.
PG&E states it is cooperating.
PG&E states it is committed to accurate and thorough reporting.
PG&E has earlier been fined in 2015 by the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) for $1.6 billion for failure to keep gas transmission safe. It is the largest penalty ever levied against a utility.
In 2017 PG&E was convicted on six felony counts and imposed the maximum fine of $3 million in connection with its violation and inability to comply with gas pipeline safety laws.
Our law firms legal teams expect to lead the fight to make the determination that PG&E’s equipment was the source of the Camp Fire.