PG&E is headed back to federal court Monday to answer to criminal charges stemming from the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion.
In July, a grand jury issued an indictment against the utility nearly four years after the explosion that killed eight people and injured 66 others.
The Department of Justice filed 27 charges accusing PG&E of willfully violating the Pipeline Safety Act and obstructing an investigation of the explosion by the NTSB.
State Sen. Jerry Hill, whose district includes San Bruno, said he expects a battle in court.
He said a key issue moving forward is the relationship between the CPUC, which oversees the utility, and PG&E, saying it is too close.
"It's clear that we have to see the U.S. Attorney making some actions and headway, and that's what they're doing. And I think more importantly, in the long run, we need an independent monitor," he said. "Some in San Bruno has been asking for this for many years now, but we need someone independent other than the Public Utilities Commission."
PG&E referred NBC Bay Area back to an earlier statement:
"We still do not believe that PG&E employees intentionally violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act."