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Judge orders PG&E to improve records, power line inspections

pg e fire.jpeg
Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-09 19:57:17-04

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Pacific Gas and Electric to better inspect high-voltage power lines, hire more tree-trimming supervisors and upgrade records regarding the age of electrical equipment as part of efforts to prevent deadly and destructive wildfires and other disasters, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The conditions, imposed Friday by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, are part of PG&E’s probation after the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion in 2010. They came after months of negotiating between the judge, the utility and others.

Parts of the conditions are meant to prevent another wildfire like the 2018 Camp Fire, which became the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire when a worn hook broke on a century-old transmission tower in Butte County in the Central Valley. The company pleaded guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter.

PG&E said in an emailed statement to The Chronicle that it shares the goals “to further improve wildfire safety for our customers and communities and to eliminate utility-caused wildfires.”

“We remain focused on our most important responsibility — the safety of the customers and communities we serve, and doing right by the victims of past wildfires,” the company’s statement said.