Judge orders PG&E to reinspect power lines, trees to prevent future wildfires

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — When Pacific Gas and Electric was convicted of violating safety standards and obstructing the investigation into the San Bruno Gas Pipeline explosion, the utility was placed on probation.

Since that time, a federal judge says Cal Fire has determined PG&E caused 18 wildfire in 2017.

Now he wants to make sure the utility does all it can to prevent any future fires.

“In light of PG&E’s history of falsification of inspection reports, PG&E shall re-inspect all of its electrical grid and remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines, poles or equipment in high-wind conditions,” said U.S. District Judge William Alsup.

Mike Danko is suing PG&E on behalf of more than 1,000 victims of the Wine Country fires and the Camp Fire.

“I think this judge is making it clear,” Mike Danko, attorney for wildfire victims. “I am not going to let another wildfire happen, next season there will not be another PG&E induced wildfire.”

The judge is requiring the utility company to reinspect electrical lines and trees to make sure trees don’t fall and cause wildfires.

“He is requiring that qualified engineers sign off on those inspections by signing their names under oath and so if it’s not true we have those engineers who can be put in jail,” said Danko.

PG&E says its most important responsibility is the safety of customers and the communities they serve.

The utility company says it is aware of the judge’s orders and are currently reviewing.

What PG&E is not saying is whether they support the plan. Ultimately the decision is up to the judge.

He will hold a hearing to decide on Jan. 30.

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