Meyers Nave Advocacy Leads to $10.85 Million Fine Against PG&E for Carmel-by-the-Sea Explosion
Britt Strottman and Steve Meyers helped the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea convince the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to issue a $10.85 million citation against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for multiple failures leading to a March 3, 2014 gas explosion that destroyed a cottage and damaged three homes. Britt and Steve assisted Carmel-by-the-Sea officials in successfully demanding that CPUC escalate its initial inquiry into a full-scale regulatory investigation of the blast. The CPUC found that PG&E failed to take necessary safety steps before replacing the gas line in Carmel-by-the-Sea and failed to adequately equip its construction crew with tools to stop the uncontrolled flow of natural gas for 30 minutes prior to the explosion. The utility crew accidentally pierced an interior plastic pipe they were not aware of while linking two pressurized steel pipelines.
In addition to the fine, the CPUC announced that it would begin a formal investigation into PG&E’s recordkeeping for its gas distribution system consisting of small pipelines that transport natural gas under neighborhoods to individual homes and businesses. PG&E has admitted that poor recordkeeping was at the root of the Carmel-by-the-Sea explosion. Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of numerous California communities that Meyers Nave is representing regarding PG&E gas pipeline safety issues, including the City of San Bruno where an explosion killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.