Pacific Gas & Electric will pay $70 million to victims of the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and fire.
The money will be used to establish a non-profit to help victims of the 2010 blast and fire in the San Francisco suburb.
Eight people perished when PG&E’s natural gas pipeline burst and the resulting fire engulfed a canyon neighborhood. Dozens more people were seriously hurt.
The fire destroyed 38 homes.
Federal investigators blame PG&E for the incident, saying the utility failed repeatedly to monitor and maintain safety of its natural gas pipelines.
In January, California’s Public Utilities Commission voted to investigate whether PG&E broke any laws, but the state agency has since been criticized for lax oversight of PG&E.
Now the Commission may slap heavy fines on the utility within the next few months. In a recent report, agency staff condemned PG&E’s shoddy record keeping and a corporate culture that puts profits before public safety.