Nearly five years after the fatal explosion leveling neighborhoods in San Bruno, California caused by a natural gas pipeline rupture, Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation has been ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to pay a record $1.6 billion in fines and other penalties.
The latest penalties cover nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal laws and regulations that two administrative law judges for the commission found in connection with PG&E's pipeline network, including the 2010 explosion.
PG&E Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Earley said his company was still reviewing the ruling but did not expect to appeal it.
According to CPUC President Michael Picker, the Commission must also shares responsibility for the accident: "PG&E failed to uphold the public's trust. (But) the CPUC failed to keep vigilant. Lives were lost. Numerous people were injured. Homes were destroyed," he said. "We must do everything we can to ensure that nothing like this happens again."