PG&E Settles for $70 Million After Gas Line Explosion

Credit: Don Bartletti for Los Angeles Times

Pacific Gas & Electric Company has settled $70 million to the city of San Bruno as they continue to recover from the 2010 pipeline explosion. Eight people were killed and dozens more injured in the explosion on Sep. 9, 2010. More than 35 homes were destroyed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated in a 2011 report at the conclusion of their investigation that the company had made “baffling mistakes” and “lax oversight…led to the explosion.” They also stated that it took 95 minutes to shut off the gas after the explosion.

In a joint statement released Monday, the company said the money will go to support the community’s efforts to recover.

“The community of San Bruno has suffered through a terrible tragedy and we understand that this accident will affect this community forever,” PG&E President Chris Johns said in a statement. “We committed the night of the tragedy and continue to commit that we will help the victims and the community heal and rebuild.”

The settlement calls for PG&E to pay the city within 30 days, and the release said that the city will establish a separate “not-for-profit public purpose entity” to manage and distribute the funds. 7 March 2012, Los Angeles Times.

This is not the first legal battle PG&E has faced. The company settled for over $315 million in the Mojave Dessert towns immortalized in the movie Erin Brockovich.