SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A federal judge overseeing PG&E’s probation in a criminal pipeline safety case officially ruled Wednesday that PG&E can contribute $3 million to San Bruno for wildfire mitigation instead of completing 2,670 remaining hours of community service.
The plan was previously agreed to by PG&E and San Bruno city leaders and was approved Wednesday in an order by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco.
San Bruno’s Crestmoor Canyon Mitigation Project will remove vegetation and fallen trees from a canyon near the site of a fatal explosion of a high-pressure PG&E natural gas pipeline in 2010.
Alsup is overseeing the utility’s probation in a federal criminal case in which the utility was convicted of violating pipeline safety laws and obstructing an investigation into the explosion, which resulted in the deaths of eight people.
The probation called for PG&E managers and employees to perform 10,000 hours of community service, but the utility and San Bruno asked to have the last portion replaced by the wildfire prevention project.
Alsup ordered PG&E to deposit the $3 million in the court’s registry account. He said disbursements from the fund will be reviewed by the court and its probation office and must be approved by the court.
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