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PG&E Charged with Multiple Violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act

On April 1, 2014, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), located in San Francisco, California, was indicted in U.S. District Court, San Francisco, California, for multiple violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (PSA). OIG initiated an investigation after the explosion of a natural gas pipeline in 2010 that killed eight people in San Bruno, California. The charges relate to PG&E's record keeping and pipeline "integrity management" practices. 

The indictment alleges that PG&E knowingly and willfully violated the PSA and its regulations between 2003 and 2010 by failing to address record keeping deficiencies concerning its larger natural gas pipelines, knowing that its records were inaccurate or incomplete; failing to identify threats to its larger natural gas pipelines; failing to take appropriate actions to investigate the seriousness of threats to pipelines when they were identified; and failing to adequately reprioritize and assess threatened pipelines after the pipelines were over pressurized as required by the PSA and its regulations.

We are investigating this case jointly with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, San Bruno Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Note:  Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government.  All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.