Probation Violation Sought Against PG&E – NBC Bay Area

Federal officials on Tuesday cited a new criminal charge against PG & E in the 2019 Kincaid Fire as grounds for discovering that the company violated the conditions for investigating a gas explosion in San Bruno.

In a court subpoena issued to a utility on Tuesday, U.S. probation officer Jennifer Hatchings said, “A company under probation does not commit another federal, state, or local crime. There is reason to believe that the general conditions have been violated. “

Hatchings quoted five felony and 28 misdemeanors filed earlier this month in connection with the October 23, 2019 Kinkade fire near Geyserville. This injured six firefighters and caused the largest evacuation in Sonoma County history.
The subpoena requires a PG & E representative to appear in front of Judge William Alsap of the United States on May 4. This shows the procedure for the second probation breach.

Alsup previously discovered that the company was in breach because it did not fully notify the probation authorities of the out-of-court settlement with the prosecutor over the fire in Butte County.

It is not yet clear what action Arsap can take against the company, other than adding conditions to probation if new breaches are upheld. In a previous court filing, both lawyers are powerless to judge to extend PG & E’s term beyond the five years set in 2017, which was convicted of a 2010 gas explosion. Insisted. Currently, the five-year term is expected to expire early next year.

“We are aware of the probation court’s orders and will comply with the subpoena,” the utility said in a statement late Tuesday, stressing sympathy for the injured firefighters and other fire victims.

In a statement, the company previously stated that it would accept Cal Fire’s discovery that the PG & E transmission line caused the fire, but believes there was no criminal activity, concluding: .. Wildfire risk to our energy system. “

Sonoma’s prosecutor has accused the company of recklessness, but has not given details. A CalFire report obtained by the NBC Bay Area research unit last year found that it was unable to properly abolish the 230,000-volt transmission line branch, which investigators said it once supplied to a nearby geothermal power plant near Geyserville. I’m blaming you.

Cal Fire concluded in 2001 that the utility crew had removed the clamps to protect the hot lines from strong winds. The plant was closed, but the line remained energized. Cal Fire discovered that it was allowed to sway unprotected for about 20 years before it finally broke and broke out.

The subpoena was issued shortly after the company’s accusation of the Kincade case.

At a hearing on Tuesday afternoon, a utility lawyer told a Sonoma County judge that by mid-May the company would challenge the legal basis for 20 air quality-related costs. The company did not admit any charges.

Attorney Brad Brian sought time to pursue the challenge, and a new hearing was held on May 25.

Will Abrams, a victim of the Tabs fire, said he wasn’t surprised by the company’s stance that it wasn’t due to the Kinkade fire, given its track record.

“They don’t explain past fire failures because they’re in this liability avoidance mode-we didn’t do it, we didn’t see it-plusible deniability, what the term is Oh, they’re avoiding their coping failure. “

At another briefing on Tuesday, PG & E authorities told state utility commission regulators to avoid more power outages under the additional wildfire safety conditions Alsap is currently proposing during probation. I warned that I couldn’t.
However, utilities have suggested that the increase in outages is still inconsistent with the scale of the 2019 shutoff.

PG & E tells regulators that, given the height enough to hit the power line and nearby trees, an average of 5 hours of interruption per year from an average of 24 to 29 hours of power loss, as Alsup currently envisions. He said it could happen. .. The company also recently submitted data suggesting that these additional shutoffs can reduce the risk of danger by about 94%.

Probation Violation Sought Against PG&E – NBC Bay Area Source link Probation Violation Sought Against PG&E – NBC Bay Area

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