A recent inspection of a transmission line by PG&E Corp. uncovered equipment problems similar to those cited as the cause of the deadliest fire in California history, according to wildland fire victim advocates.
During a December inspection, an expert with the attorneys photographed worn and rusted C-hooks on a transmission line near the Caribou-Palermo line in the northern California Sierra foothills, which failed and started the bonfire, the official committee said the bankruptcy of PG & E represents in an opinion.
Some of the hooks on the Cresta-Rio Oso line “appeared to be held together by black electrical tape,” the committee said.
California investigators concluded that a worn-out C-hook on the Caribou-Palermo line broke, igniting the bonfire that destroyed the city of Paradise and killed 85 people. State regulators said PG&E could have prevented the catastrophic blaze if it had conducted proper inspections and repairs to the line.
PG&E has won court approval of a $13.5 billion settlement with the Wildfire Committee for previous fires traced to its equipment that bankrupted the utility a year ago.
Wildfire’s attorneys said they had notified PG&E of their findings and were working with the utility to resolve the issue.
“We’re very glad the expert brought this to our attention,” said Michael Carlson of Caymus Vineyards, who is a member of the committee. “PG&E has stated that it has completed 100% of its vision and drone inspections of its transmission lines, so we couldn’t take the risk that it missed these issues.”
US District Judge William Alsup, who oversees the utility’s criminal parole, has urged PG&E to improve its fire safety protocols and has shown keen interest in the jumper cable failure that started the campfire.
In response to a detailed series of questions from the judge, PG&E said it had inspected and repaired the “vast majority” of power lines in high fire risk areas.
The judge said this week that some of the company’s written responses were incomplete, and he asked more questions.
“Shouldn’t we be concerned that the inspections conducted by PG&E failed to detect the potential detachment of the tower in question, and shouldn’t we be concerned that other inspections of other towers using the same protocol also failed to find jumper wires on the edge.” of detachment?” Alsup wrote. “What good are inspections that don’t find any problems?”
About the photo: A member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) team searches the rubble of a home destroyed by the campfire outside of Paradise. Photo by Robert Barker December 11, 2018
Copyright 2022 Bloomberg.
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