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Sep 23, 2013 3:34 PM by Associated Press

Calif. finalizes citation rules for gas cos.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The state Public Utilities Commission has finalized guidelines for citations against natural gas companies that could cost them as much as $50,000 a day for each safety violation.

The PUC released the guidelines on Friday. In addition to spelling out possible fines, they establish a whistleblower program to allow utility employees to report problems anonymously and without fear of retaliation.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the commission has a backlog of more than 600 natural gas safety violations, including some acknowledged by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. after the deadly 2010 gas pipeline blast in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of San Bruno.

The commission says it will soon begin issuing citations for those and other previously identified violations.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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