SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — PG&E could be forced to pay tens of millions of dollars for their role in an explosion in Rancho Cordova that killed one person and injured five others nearly three years ago.
The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Consumer Protection and Safety Division (CPSD) today recommended that the utility company pay $26 million of shareholder funds for the December 24, 2008 natural gas leak and explosion that rocked 10708 Paiute Way in Rancho Cordova.
In a press release today, CPUC said the fine will be the largest safety-related fine ordered by CPUC in more than a decade. PG&E admitted to violating safety regulations in this instance and others in Elk Grove.
“I believe this is an effective and meaningful resolution of all the issues in this penalty case, but the Commissioners will make the final decision,” said CPSD Director Richard Clark.
PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson made the following statement in response to today’s announcement:
“This was a tragic event that never should have happened. We are deeply sorry that it did. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Paana family and others who were affected. We focused immediately on identifying steps that could be taken to prevent this from happening anywhere else. During the course of the investigation, we learned valuable lessons about our operations and identified several areas where we could improve. We have made changes as a result.”
The fine needs to be approved by CPUC commissioners before PG&E is ordered to pay. The money will go into the state’s General Fund.