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Gas company fined $3.3M over California pipeline blast

February 1, 2019

ONTARIO, Calif. (AP) — Southern California Gas Co. has been fined $3.3 million over a 2017 pipeline explosion that injured one person.

The state Public Utilities Commission on Friday cited the utility for failing to properly investigate the blast, which involved a leaking pipeline in Ontario, east of Los Angeles.

The PUC says the utility has refused to test a damaged pipeline section that was removed. The blast sparked a customer lawsuit and the utility has said testing would destroy lawsuit evidence it’s obliged to preserve.

The PUC citation accuses the nation’s largest natural gas distributor of putting “fear of civil damages ahead of public safety.”

The utility says it’s complied with state and federal regulations, investigated the cause of the incident, completed repairs and has cooperated with the PUC throughout the investigation.

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