California ALJ boosts PG&E costs 70% for failures in program to prevent damage to underground equipment

Utility Dive: California utilities are required by law to identify and mark underground infrastructure at proposed excavation sites, to prevent third-party diggers from accidentally hitting a gas pipeline or power-line. In general, locate-and-mark personnel need to complete that process within two working days of receiving notice of the planned excavation.

In December 2018, the CPUC launched an investigation into PG&E’s locate-and-mark protocols after the CPUC safety division found PG&E employees had undercounted thousands of “late tickets” — instances in which a site was not marked within two working days or an agreed upon deadline — due to falsified records.

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