U.S. judge considers whether PG & E violated probation in the 2019 fire

Sacramento, Calif. (AP)-Federal judges protect Pacific Gas and Electric after a wildfire in northern San Francisco in October 2019 destroyed more than 100 homes and injured six firefighters. We are considering whether we violated our observations.

PG & E prosecutor and lawyer.Appeared at a hearing on Tuesday before the US District Court William Alsap, Sonoma County lawyer indicts the company for five felony and 28 misdemeanors in a fire that destroyed 374 buildings and launched the largest evacuation in the county’s history, with nearly 100,000 fleeing One month after being forced.

PG & E; Accepted investigators’ findings that power lines ignited a fire burning 120 square miles (311 square kilometers), but denied committing a crime. He is trying to get rid of two-thirds of the charges because the alleged violation of the state’s Air Pollution Control Act is not a crime.

Federal probation officer Jennifer Hatchings claimed that the 2019 Kincaid fire violated the company’s probationary observations from a 2010 explosion of a natural gas line that blew up near San Bruno, a suburb of southern San Francisco. .. AlsapAppointment to oversee the operation of the utility.

One of the probationary periods was that a utility serviced to about 16 million people would not commit another federal, state, or local crime.

Alsap He said he would consider imposing additional probationary conditions for the fire, “losing 100 homes is really devastating. There is no other way to explain it.”

The judge repeatedly discovered that the company violated other probationary conditions, each imposing more conditions on the company.

PG & E; 84 felony ignited 2018 camp fire in Butte County, which destroyed most of the city of Paradise in the most deadly and most devastating wildfire in California’s recorded history last year. Convicted of manslaughter.

Payer advocate and former San Diego lawyer Michael Aguirre aims to run out of time on Tuesday without making basic changes to PG & E; previously to improve safety. AlsapSupervision ends in January.

“They were serious offenders convicted on probation and have just been found to have been involved in an additional safety breach in which 100 homes were destroyed,” said Aguirre.

The company’s lawyer, Reed Shah, replied that utility executives take their responsibilities very seriously.

Alsap He said it is very unlikely to accept Agile’s proposal to appoint a trustee or trustee to oversee utilities, as PG & E;’s federal probationary period may end in January. Alsap He said he would lose power in January as he has no power to extend it.

Holding hearings to consider whether to appoint a trustee will allow more mountains of the company’s equipment as California enters a period when authorities fear it will be a particularly dangerous drought wildfire season. It also distracts staff from their main obligation to prevent fires.

“The fire season is so close that we don’t mind distracting lawyers, but we do care about distracting those who have to direct fire protection at PG & E ;,” the judge said. Told.

Separately, Alsup is considering orders that could force utilities to intentionally turn off power more often to mitigate the risk of wildfires. The Public Utility Commission of California objected that the plan could double the number of power outages in some provinces in Northern California over the next decade.

Last month, state commissions stepped up surveillance of utilities after determining that they had neglected to maintain the grid. This resulted in a series of deadly wildfires and preventative power outages affecting millions of people in Northern California.

Issues cited by both Alsap State regulators include improper management of outdated equipment and preventing trees from falling onto power lines.

Alsap Another year, the utility “excludes me,” he added: “We have 8-9 months left and plan to use it as fairly as possible.”

He held another hearing on June 2nd.


Associated Press writer Michael Liedtke contributed to the story.

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U.S. judge considers whether PG & E violated probation in the 2019 fire

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