California utility must run ads over deadly blast conviction

MarketsAssociated Press

California's largest utility must pay a $3 million fine and run thousands of TV commercials publicizing its pipeline safety violations as punishment for its criminal convictions in a deadly natural gas explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson sentenced Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Thursday. In addition to the fine and advertising requirement, he required PG&E employees to perform 10,000 hours of community service.

The sentence closes one of the final chapters in the legal and regulatory fallout from the 2010 blast in the city of San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

California regulators have previously fined PG&E $1.6 billion for the explosion, and the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars settling victims' lawsuits.