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PG&E fined for faulty Monterey County tower

Brian Rinker

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week issued a $400,000 fine to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for safety code violations. The citation results from the failure of a transmission tower near Moss Landing three years ago. 

The commission said PG&E built a faulty transmission tower. After the 230 kilovolt tower was put into use in October 2015, it failed a week later and fell to the ground, cutting power for over 55,000 Monterey County residents.

A CPUC investigation found the utility had used “an incorrect angle in building all four concrete footings of the tower.”

According to the commission statement, it requires “first of all, the immediate correction of any unsafe condition. The CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division has staff-level authority to issue citations to electric companies for violation of CPUC or federal safety codes and regulations.”

The commission can fine up to $50,000 per day for each day of violation - or a maximum of $8 million. PG&E has 30 days to pay or protest the fine.

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