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USReport: PG&E ignored repairs on aging power lines

07:55  11 july  2019
07:55  11 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Pacific Gas & Electric , California’s largest utility, has been responsible for wildfires in recent years that destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres. Several proved deadly. One of the biggest fires started near Sacramento in 2015, when a tree that PG & E had failed to maintain hit one of its power lines .

In May, PG & E completed annual training in Los Banos for a special group of linemen who perform upgrades, maintenance and repairs on energized transmission The procedure is safer and easier for linemen, and it also eliminates the need to de-energize a power line and interrupt electric service to

Report: PG&E ignored repairs on aging power lines© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2017, file photo, Pacific Gas & Electric crews work on restoring power lines in a fire ravaged neighborhood in an aerial view in the aftermath of a wildfire in Santa Rosa, Calif. A Wednesday, July 10, 2019, report in the Wall Street Journal says Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of California's deadliest recent fires, knew for years that dozens of its aging power lines posed a wildfire threat but avoided replacing or repairing them. PG&E says it disagrees with the Journal's conclusions but says it’s "taking significant actions to inspect, identify, and fix" safety issues. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of California's deadliest recent fires, knew for years that dozens of its aging power lines posed a wildfire threat but avoided replacing or repairing them, it was reported Wednesday.

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State officials concluded that Pacific Gas & Electric lines caused the Camp Fire, which destroyed the PG & E power lines caused the Camp Fire, California fire officials concluded.CreditCreditJustin In a statement on Wednesday, PG & E said that it had not yet reviewed Cal Fire’s report but that it “is

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. ignored federal law not just in San Bruno but on hundreds of gas- line segments before the 2010 disaster, showing a pattern of intentional disregard for rules requiring testing for at-risk pipes, prosecutors say. The utility spiked gas pressure on pipelines throughout its system in

The Wall Street Journal, using company documents obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act, reported that the utility told the U.S. Forest Service in 2017 and 2018 that 49 aging steel towers on one transmission line needed replacement and another 57 needed replacement of their hardware and aluminum lines.

The Journal previously reported that PG&E delayed safety work on the line, known as the Caribou-Palermo line, for five years.

State investigators said an equipment failure on that line sparked a November wildfire that essentially wiped out the Northern California town of Paradise and killed 85 people. It was the deadliest and most destructive in state history.

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A Pacific Gas and Electric crew works at restoring power along the Old Redwood Highway Wednesday, Oct. Shares of electric utility company PG & E plunged 7.7 percent Friday on concerns its power lines may have started the massive wildfires that have ravaged California recently.

Downed power lines owned by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric are being blamed for a dozen Northern California wildfires last fall. The findings by state officials could have a significant financial impact on PG & E . The report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection links

On Wednesday, the Butte County Sheriff's Office identified a previously unnamed victim as 67-year-old Shirley Haley of Paradise.

Four other people have been tentatively identified while two bodies remain unidentified.

After the fire, PG&E decided to stop using the line, which was built in 1921.

PG&E also estimated back in 2017 that its towers had an average age of 68 years and some were more than a century old, the Journal said, reporting that the company also said it needed a plan to replace towers and better manage lines to prevent electrical conductors from falling on the ground and causing fires.

Gusty winds that can topple trees and down power lines are concerns for California utilities. Last month, PG&E briefly cut power to thousands of people in selected portions of Northern California to guard against wildfires as the weather turned very windy, dry and hot.

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A key Pacific Gas and Electric Co. gas engineer testified that he repeatedly told his bosses the company was relying on flawed data to vouch Such a seam would have been noted on an accurate geographic information system report , and if it had, PG & E would have been legally obligated to prove

Report: PG&E ignored repairs on aging power lines© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2017, file photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, flames burn near power lines in Sycamore Canyon near West Mountain Drive in Montecito, Calif. A Wednesday, July 10, 2019, report in the Wall Street Journal says Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of California's deadliest recent fires, knew for years that dozens of its aging power lines posed a wildfire threat but avoided replacing or repairing them. PG&E says it disagrees with the Journal's conclusions but says it’s "taking significant actions to inspect, identify, and fix" safety issues. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

Also in June, PG&E said its workers discovered more than 1,000 high-priority safety risks on its transmission lines and distribution poles over several months of inspections and almost all of them had been fixed.

A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday ordered PG&E to provide a "paragraph-by-paragraph" response to the Wall Street Journal story.

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"This is not the same line that PG & E identified in its Electric Incident Report on Nov. "I’ve continuously tried to get in touch with [transmission line workers] but nobody is in charge and they suck at communication," Cowley told Bay Area News Group, noting that PG & E has ignored the power

Pacific Gas and Electric Company workers repair power lines along Skyway in Paradise, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. In its report to state regulators, PG & E said it opted not to interrupt power because winds were decreasing and conditions no longer met the company’s emergency criteria.

PG&E must provide "a fresh, forthright statement owning up to the true extent" of the Wall Street Journal report by July 31, ordered U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing PG&E's probation for a natural gas pipeline explosion in 2010 that killed eight people in San Bruno.

Alsup also asked the company to explain its payment of $5 billion in dividends in recent years "at a time when PG&E was aware of the problems" named in the Journal report.

PG&E said it disagreed with the conclusions of the Journal report but "we have acknowledged that the devastation of the 2017 and 2018 wildfires made clear that we must do more to combat the threat of wildfires and extreme weather while hardening our systems."

"As we have disclosed publicly, we are taking significant actions to inspect, identify, and fix these issues with our electric system," the utility said in a statement, adding that "while the number of safety issues we have identified on our electric system is small by percentage, it's unacceptable."

Report: PG&E ignored repairs on aging power lines© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2019 photo, a man holds a sign at a rally before a California Public Utilities Commission meeting in San Francisco. A Wednesday, July 10, 2019, report in the Wall Street Journal says Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of California's deadliest recent fires, knew for years that dozens of its aging power lines posed a wildfire threat but avoided replacing or repairing them. PG&E says it disagrees with the Journal's conclusions but says it’s "taking significant actions to inspect, identify, and fix" safety issues. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January in the face of some $30 billion in potential liability from 2017 and 2018 wildfire damage.

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