PG&E to pay $65 million to settle claims about notifications failures regarding underground gas, electric locates

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Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has agreed to pay $65 million to settle California claims that it falsified records about how it notified construction workers about underground gas and electric lines.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that regulators alleged that PG&E employees frequently misrepresented how quickly they responded to excavators’ requests to locate and mark gas pipelines. The company also was accused of failing to provide enough qualified workers to help flag electric cables.

California’s Public Utilities Commission says failures in the notification system contributed to 67 cases where crews struck underground lines while excavating, although nobody died.

The Chronicle says PG&E sent employees an email last week in which executives called the problems unacceptable.

The utility also agreed to reforms that include increasing staffing and training, according to the published report.

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