The California Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E $3 million today for failing to comply with the commission's orders to provide records for its gas transmission pipelines following the 2010 pipeline explosion in the Crestmoor neighborhood.
Despite some initial pushback from PG&E, the fine confirms that the utility's recordkeeping for its gas transmission pipeline system did indeed violate the law, the state regulators said.
The fine stems from an order the commission gave PG&E last spring to show cause why the company should not be fined for its failure to produce adequate pipeline records after the San Bruno fire.
CPUC Executive Director Paul Clanon initially criticized PG&E for claiming that it submitted pressure information for a majority of its pipelines, saying that the documents provided were unacceptable.
PG&E fired back and said it submitted records for more than 90 percent of its natural gas pipelines in the region, records that provided either information about pressure tests performed on the segments or historical operating pressures.
However, Clanon said PG&E failed to produce "traceable, verifiable, and complete records."
In its order today, the CPUC said the recordkeeping fine is part of an ongoing effort to step up its enforcement over PG&E's pipeline operations since the San Bruno disaster.
"During the year since issuing the Order to Show Cause, this Commission has been resolutely focused on improving PG&E’s operating performance of its natural gas transmission system," the order stated. "We have taken significant actions already, and anticipate further long-term measures to improve safety."
In addition to the $3 million fine, the commission today also fined PG&E $16.76 million for failing to conduct gas safety tests in seven Contra Costa County cities.
Bay City News Service contributed to this story.