SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California regulators upheld a $16.8 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric for the utility’s failure to adequately check for gas leaks in its pipelines as required by state law. The company acknowledged it did not check for leaks in pipelines servicing communities in the eastern San Francisco Bay area, Fresno and Yolo Counties. PG&E appealed the $16.8 million fine by the California Public Utilities Commission as excessive, saying it self-reported the violations. The utility’s inspection failures were unearthed after the Sept. 9, 2010 blast on a PG&E transmission line in San Bruno, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. PG&E said in a statement on Thursday that it had increased its safety inspections and will continue self-reporting any violations that jeopardize public safety.
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