PG&E faces criminal charges over 2010 San Bruno gas explosion

SOURCE: PG&E via Facebook

A federal grand jury last week indicted PG&E, a northern California utility company, on criminal charges related to the deadly 2010 gas explosion in San Bruno. 

Eight people were killed and 58 others were injured in a massive explosion caused by a gas leak on Sept. 9, 2010. The subsequent fire damaged 108 homes, 38 of which were completely destroyed.

“The citizens of Northern California deserve to have their utility providers put the safety of the community first,” said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. “Today’s indictment of PG&E for violating the minimum safety standards established by the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act reflects the company’s failure to follow that very basic principle.

PG&E was charged with 12 counts of criminal violations under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968. Prosecutors accused PG&E of failing to “take appropriate actions to investigate the seriousness of threats to pipelines when they were identified.”

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company, by and through the actions of its employees, knowingly and willfully violated a minimum safety standard for pipelines carrying natural gas,” according to indictment.

If convicted, each count carries a statutory maximum penalty of $500,000.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has also been conducting a criminal investigation into the San Bruno explosion.

Harris said her office is working with “federal partners in prosecuting this matter in federal court and holding PG&E accountable for its alleged conduct.”


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