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A Federal Judge Has Forced Pacific Gas And Electric To Comply With Stricter Inspection Standards

Staffan Vilcans
Flickr Creative Commons


The order comes about one month after PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter during the 2018 Camp Fire. It was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Investigations later revealed it began when one old and worn metal hook snapped off a transmission tower. 

The judge said that PG&E’s current inspection procedures fail to assess wear and tear on individual parts. He warned that without stricter standards another hook could break at any moment.

The new order forces PG&E to inspect and record the age for each piece of equipment on all of its transmission towers and lines. They must also hire more inspectors to manage and audit the work of contractors who cut tree limbs around lower-voltage power lines.  

PG&E has until the end of May to submit plans on how they will comply and meet these new standards. 


Victor Tence is the Production Manager for Crosscurrents and Coordinator for KALW's Training Programs. He is a graduate of City College of San Francisco's journalism program and the 2020 KALW Audio Academy cohort. He transitioned to journalism after spending 6 years cooking in Bay Area kitchens. He is passionate about covering the local hospitality, food and agriculture industry, as a way to advocate for the community he loves. Now, he works as a producer for KALW's award-winning news magazine, Crosscurrents. He also organizes and facilitates KALW's various training programs.