McAfee & Taft RegLINC - April 2012: $38 million fine for Pacific Gas & Electric 2008 explosion By Chris Paul


By Chris Paul

California applied a $38 million penalty against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a 2008 gas explosion in which one person died and five were injured, caused by a faulty pipeline installation and failed oversight. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause was use of a section of unmarked and out-of-specification polyethylene pipe with inadequate wall thickness that allowed gas to leak from a mechanical coupling installed in September 2006. A two-hour, 47-minute delay in arrival at the site of a PG&E crew that was properly trained and equipped to identify and classify outdoor leaks and conduct response activities was cited as a contributing cause.



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