CPUC fines PG&E $16.8M for shoddy gas leak surveys

State regulators plan to fine Pacific Gas & Electric Co. $16.8 million for failing to perform gas leak surveys in the wake of a deadly pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb in 2010.

The California Public Utilities Commission announced the fine Friday, as part of a new citation program that gives its staff oversight muscle to fine natural gas companies for safety problems spotted on their lines.

The Sept. 9, 2010 blast on the transmission line in San Bruno ignited a fireball that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

Last year, PG&E self-reported to the commission that the company did not perform pipeline leak surveys in several locations, in violation of state regulations. PG&E has 10 days to pay the fine using shareholder dollars, or appeal.

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