$375K penalty returned to PG&E

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Updated: 12/23/2013 2:31 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP, Mynews4.com, & KRNV) — California regulators have refunded $375,000 to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. over concerns the fine payment could jeopardize a potentially larger penalty against the utility for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Public Utilities Commission's safety enforcement division sent a letter to PG&E on Friday that withdrew the citation and included a check for $375,000.

The safety division imposed the fine earlier this month after an audit determined that PG&E for decades lacked a procedure to systematically monitor its gas pipelines.

According to the Chronicle, attorneys involved in the San Bruno case are still worried PG&E would use the $375,000 charge to challenge a potentially multi-billion dollar fine for the 2010 blast. That's because both stem from many of the same gas system problems.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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