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San Bruno seeks $1.25 billion fine for PG&E over pipeline explosion

07 May 2013

More than two years after a fatal pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, city leaders plan to press state regulators to impose fines of more than $1 billion on PG&E Corp., the pipeline's owner. The September 2010 explosion of the natural gas pipeline caused a massive fire that killed eight people, injured 58 others, and damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes.

Federal and state investigators have blamed PG&E for the pipeline rupture and explosion, and accused the company of mismanaging its aging pipeline system over decades.

State investigators have accused the utility of violating dozens of federal and state safety rules and proposed that the utility should be penalizsd with fines. State regulators have promised to fine the utility and also to beef up oversight of the state's gas pipelines.

Now, San Bruno officials are proposing that the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state's utilities, order PG&E to pay $1.25 billion in fines. San Bruno officials say the figure matches the scale of the disaster and alleged mistakes by PG&E that led to the pipeline explosion.

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