PG&E Hit with Another Safety Violation Fine

By Published On: November 23, 2021

The California Public Utilities Commission slapped a $7.5 million fine on Pacific Gas & Electric for failing to conduct much needed repairs on transmission lines and distribution poles.

The penalty includes a $5 million citation for not completing more than 20 identified “high priority repairs,” and inadequate inspections over a decade of the Ignacio-Alto-Sausalito transmission lines. Inspections revealed critical deficiencies in need of immediate repair on 21 transmission towers, including rusted and damaged tower parts, joints, and worn C-hooks, the CPUC reported Nov. 22.

General Order 95 requires high-priority deficiencies to be immediately repaired because they pose an “immediate risk of high potential impact to safety or reliability.”

A second $2.5 million fine was issued for shortcomings in distribution pole inspections in 2019, which led to a pole failure in a customer’s backyard in Danville last year. Subsequently, PG&E told the Commission staff its inspections of wood poles “failed to accurately assess pole integrity and identify potential internal dry rot.”

PG&E responded to the safety violation citation, which it has 30 days to appeal, by stating it “self-reported those issues.” Utility spokesperson Jennifer Robison added PG&E “also created corrective-action plans to resolve the issues safely and as quickly as possible, including completing missed inspections and making high-priority transmission-line replacements.”

The Monday directive requires PG&E to provide reporting and notification and corrective actions.

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