Thursday, June 02, 2016

Proceeding Number I.14-11-008 PRESIDING OFFICER’S DECISION

ABSTRACT: Re: BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Order Instituting Investigation And Order to Show Cause on the Commission’s Own Motion into the Operations and Practices of Pacific Gas and Electric Company with Respect to Facilities Records for its Natural Gas Distribution System Pipelines, the PRESIDING OFFICER’S DECISION document copy is embedded.
Today’s decision finds that Pacific Gas and Electric Company failed to comply with applicable law and regulations in maintaining accurate records of its natural gas distribution system. These inaccurate records were relied on for locating and marking underground facilities in anticipation of excavation. The inaccurately mapped and consequently inaccurately marked facilities led to excavators damaging the distribution system in several instances. Release of natural gas, service interruptions and, in one case, significant property damage resulted. Today’s decision first separates the violations into systemic failures and isolated mistakes in an otherwise compliant system, and imposes substantial fines for systemic failures and graduated fines for the isolated instances. Total fines of $24,310,000 are assessed for the systemic violations and incidents found in today’s decision. With the Citation previously assessed for the Carmel incident, the total fine imposed on Pacific Gas and Electric Company for distribution system incidents is $35,160,000. This proceeding is closed.
For the violations of federal and state law and regulations set forth above,
PG&E shall pay a total fine of $ 24,310,000.
Amount of Fine
Failure to Minimize Possibility of Recurrence – Plastic Inserts

Failure to Analyze and Minimize Possibility of Recurrence – Missing DeAnza Records
$ 10,786,000

Failure to Provide Safe and Reliable Service – Milpitas 1
$ 1,974,000

Specific Incidents $ 750,000
$ 750,000
Incident Description Carmel, March 3, 2014, PG&E crew welded a tapping tee into a 2 inch steel distribution main with unmapped plastic insert, natural gas migrated into the unoccupied residence, collected and exploded hours later.
Harm Caused Residence destroyed, value = $302,000
Presiding Officer Determination $100,000
2 violations @ $50,000 each
Citation for $10.8 million already paid to General Fund.
(also part of failure to minimize recurrence fine)
1. Within 30 days of the effective date of this order Pacific Gas and Electric Company must pay a fine of $24,310,000 by check or money order payable to the California Public Utilities Commission and mailed or delivered to the Commission’s Fiscal Office, 505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 3000, San Francisco, CA 94102. Write on the face of the check or money order “For deposit to the General Fund per Decision _____.”
2. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) shall convene, support, and report on a meet and confer process to consider and develop additional remedial measures necessary to address the issues identified in today’s decision. The objective of this process will be a comprehensive compliance plan that includes all feasible and cost-effective measures necessary to improve PG&E’s natural gas distribution system record-keeping. The participants shall begin their review with Exhibit E to D.15-04-024 to evaluate those remedial measures to determine whether more or different requirements are needed for the gas distribution system. All parties to this proceeding shall be invited to participate as well as all parties to the most recent general rate case and Investigation 11-02-016. The Commission’s Safety and Enforcement Division shall participate and monitor this process. No later than 120 days after the effective date of this order, PG&E shall file and serve its initial compliance plan.
3. Investigation 14-11-008 is closed.
This order is effective today.
 NOTE: City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
The City stated that PG&E was fined $10.8 million dollars for blowing up a home in Carmel two years ago because its practices, records and safety protocols failed in a catastrophic manner. Carmel contended that PG&E's gas transmission system was not safe and operated in violation of Section 451 of the Public Utilities Code and it records system was, and arguably still is, incompetent to run a gas utility in the 21st century.
The City explained that almost two years after the explosion, Carmel's City Council and residents are still fearful for their safety when PG&E crews are working in City streets and are fearful of what dangers lie below in PG&E's labyrinth of underground pipelines.
Carmel supported SED’s position, and found PG&E's arguments and witnesses' testimony presented at the evidentiary hearings in an effort to show the utility did not violate the law to ring hollow and were in bad faith; so much so that Carmel believed PG&E submitted misrepresentations to the Commission. Carmel concluded with the hope that the Commission would see through PG&E's too-little-too-late excuses and promises regarding the safety of its distribution system.
Carmel proposed fines of up to $651 million, with supporting calculations. Carmel also recommended linking executive compensation to safety objectives, appointing independent monitors for PG&E’s system, and ordering PG&E to compensate Carmel for its expenses.
Filing Date 6-01-16
including Attachment A
Adopted Remedies Proposed by CPSD in I.11-02-016
(Recordkeeping OII)

Filing Date 4-09-15

No comments: