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Peninsula Assemblyman Criticizes PG&E Deal

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Flames consume homes during a massive fire in a residential neighborhood September 9, 2010 in San Bruno. (Getty Images)

Flames consume homes during a massive fire in a residential neighborhood September 9, 2010 in San Bruno. (Getty Images)

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SAN MATEO (KCBS) – San Mateo Assemblyman Jerry Hill is criticizing what he calls “a backroom deal” between Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the California Public Utilities Commission over documents regarding pipeline safety.

The agreement calls for the utility to pay a $3 million fine for not providing all of the necessary documents regarding the gas pipeline system.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

PG&E had until March 15 to provide the documents to the CPUC. Regulators had talked about fining the company up to a million dollars a day until it complied.

But the agreement would cap the fine at $3 million, provided PG&E meets deadlines to provide the additional records.

Photo Gallery: Explosion Rocks San Bruno Neighborhood

“I would like to see something that is fair and appropriate,” said Hill. “I don’t know if $3 million is an appropriate fine for a company that makes over a billion dollars a year.”

He also said the deal will raise public concerns.

“There’s a concern about transparency, but to me, it’s more a level of confidence. Confidence in our regulators and that they’re doing the job appropriately, that they’re acting in a responsible manner and that they’re holding people accountable,” said Hill.

PG&E said they made a good-faith effort to meet the March 15 deadline and the deal resolves the matter.

The request for the documents was made in the wake of September’s deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

Two members of the CPUC will review the fine agreement at a Monday hearing.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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