A state administrative law judge today proposed a $6.75 million
fine against PG&E for delaying and mischaracterizing the correction of a
significant error in its pipeline record-keeping.
The error concerned Line 147, a 3.8-mile pipeline that runs
beneath Brittan Avenue in San Carlos.
California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge
Maribeth Bushey said in the proposed decision that PG&E discovered in October
2012 that the pipeline contained arc welds instead of being seamless, but did
not publicly file a correction with the commission until July.
PG&E completed an internal investigation in March.
utility finally did submit the July filing, it called the error "errata," a
word usually used for minor mistakes.
Bushey wrote, "The errors discovered included pipeline incorrectly
recorded as seamless, a fact pattern distressingly similar to San Bruno.
"It is not credible that PG&E's engineers and executives did not
recognize the provocative nature of these facts in light of the intense
public interest in natural gas pipeline safety," Bushey wrote.
She wrote that "submitting information of on-going record keeping
errors in a routine-appearing document could be seen as an attempt to mislead
the Commission and the public on the significance of the new information."
The proposal will go before the commission on Dec. 5 or later for
PG&E and other parties will have an opportunity to comment on the
proposed fine until late November.