CPUC Demands Top to Bottom PG&E Review

PG&E: 'No issue' with paying for state blast probe

Thursday, Sep 23, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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What are the concerns for similar pipeline breaks and fires after a quake?

What are the concerns for similar pipeline breaks and fires after a quake?

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The San Bruno pipeline explosion has lead to a state-ordered top to bottom review for PG&E.

Thursday California regulators officially set up an independent panel to probe what lead up to blast that killed seven people and leveled dozens of homes.

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The panel will work independently from the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB is the lead federal agency investigating the cause of the Sept. 9 explosion.

The California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco said the panel will also review management practices at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the utility responsible for the gas line.

 

One of the victims of the blast worked for the PUC.  Jacqueline Greig, 44, died along with her daughter Janessa.

They want to see what, if anything, could have been done to prevent the disaster.

The PUC are also pressing PG&E to cover the cost of the panel's work with shareholder funds, not with the money coming in from ratepayers' monthly bills.

A senior vice president with PG&E told the San Francisco Chronicle that PG&E has "no issue" with the order.   Tom Bottorff told the newspaper the company would comply with the order and that the money would come from shareholder profits -- not a rate hike.

  Also Thursday, clean-up crews started demolition and debris clean up which will last for several weeks. The work is expected to kick up hazardous dust from items left behind, like paint, pesticides and other toxic materials.

Some residents who have returned say they will stay inside or wear a dust mask if necessary. Many residents say they are anxious for clean up to get started so neighbors can rebuild and return home. Many say they won't feel at ease until everyone who survived is home.

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