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CPUC Issues $8 Million Citation to Edison for Safety Violations

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a Citation to Southern California Edison for $8 million for violations of safety regulations following an electric incident that occurred in Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Aug. 1, 2015.

The incident occurred when a person was injured when he struck a low-hanging energized powerline while riding an off-road vehicle, and two people were injured when they contacted the energized powerline while trying to provide aid to the injured individual.

A CPUC staff investigation determined that a crossarm on an Edison pole broke, causing a piece of the crossarm to fall to the ground. The 12 kV overhead line that the crossarm was supporting became suspended less than eight feet above the ground.

Crossarms should be designed, installed, and maintained properly to prevent failure during conditions that are normal to the area where they are installed. Therefore, Edison is in violation of CPUC rules for failing to ensure that the crossarm was capable of withstanding conditions normal to the area.

Information about the Citation is available on the CPUC's Electric Safety Citations webpage.

Edison has 30 calendar days to pay the Citation or file an appeal.

The CPUC requires the immediate correction of any unsafe condition. The CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division (SED) has staff-level authority to issue Citations to regulated electric companies for violation of CPUC codes and regulations.

Safety violations are identified through SED's ongoing audits, inspections, and investigations; by the utilities themselves through mandatory disclosure requirements; or through the CPUC's whistleblower program for anonymous and protected reporting of violations. Whistleblowers can call 1-800-649-7570 or email safetyhotline@cpuc.ca.gov.

The CPUC also has an online whistleblower reporting form where complaints can be submitted anonymously.

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