PG&E Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Deadly 2010 San Bruno Pipeline Explosion - NBC Bay Area

PG&E Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Deadly 2010 San Bruno Pipeline Explosion

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    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has pleaded not guilty to charges in a new indictment that accuses the utility of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood.

    Steve Bauer, an attorney for the company, entered the plea in court on Monday to all 28 counts in the indictment, including obstruction of justice.

    "Based on all of the evidence we have seen to date and our review of the new indictment, we still do not believe that PG&E employees intentionally violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act, and that, even where mistakes were made, employees were acting in good faith to provide customers with safe and reliable energy," PG&E said in a statement.

    The new indictment was announced last month. The company previously faced 12 counts related to its safety practices, but not obstruction.

    Prosecutors say PG&E tried to mislead federal investigators about pipeline testing and maintenance procedures it was following at the time of the 2010 explosion in San Bruno and for six months afterward.

    The blast killed eight people.

    "San Bruno was a tragic accident. We've taken accountability and are deeply sorry," PG&E said in a statement. "We have worked hard to do the right thing for victims, their families and the community, and we will continue to do so. We are absolutely committed to re-earning the trust of all of the people we are fortunate to serve every day."

    PG&E said the obstruction charge stems from a paperwork error that the company quickly corrected.

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