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CPUC Issues $300,000 Citation to Southern California Gas Company for Natural Gas Violations

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a $300,000 Citation to Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) for three separate violations that led to an incident in Murrieta, Calif.

The incident occurred on July 15, 2019, when SoCalGas caused an explosion and subsequent fire at a nearby residence during an attempted repair of a natural gas pipeline. The explosion and fire caused one fatality and several injuries.

A CPUC staff investigation determined that SoCalGas failed to:

  1. Perform a gas migration survey;
  2. Use an approved combustible gas detector to maintain surveillance of uncontrolled escaping gas; and,
  3. Wear respiratory protection equipment and a gas extraction suit while trying to control the blowing gas at the point of discharge.

SoCalGas has 30 calendar days to pay the Citations or file appeals.

The Citations are available on the CPUC's natural gas Citations webpage.

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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