PG&E expects criminal charges over 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion

by Reuters
Thursday, 27 March 2014 23:50 GMT

March 27 (Reuters) - PG&E Corp said it expects the U.S. government to file criminal charges against the company over the deadly 2010 San Bruno gas line rupture and fire that destroyed a neighborhood and killed eight people.

The company said it was in discussions with the U.S. attorney's office to reach a fair resolution but expected to be charged with violating the federal Pipeline Safety Act in relation to record keeping, pipeline integrity management and identification of pipeline threats.

PG&E said the "criminal charges are not merited and that PG&E employees did not intentionally violate the federal Pipeline Safety Act."

A natural gas pipeline explosion in the city just south of San Francisco destroyed a neighborhood, killing eight people on Sept. 9, 2010. The National Transportation Safety Board later blamed the utility's lax approach to pipeline safety and weak oversight by state and federal regulators.

The company said on Thursday that after the accident, it adopted new pipeline safety standards and committed to spend $2.7 billion of shareholder money to fund safety-related work.

PG&E also settled claims amounting to nearly $500 million with the victims and families of the San Bruno accident, the company said.

(Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; Editing by Richard Chang)

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