Company Has Reached Civil Settlements with Shasta County and Continues to Work to Settle Additional Civil Cases; PG&E CEO Says Company Committed to Making Profound Changes to Keep Customers and Communities Safe
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) shared the following statements today in regard to the announcement by the Shasta County District Attorney's office that it will file criminal charges against PG&E related to the 2020 Zogg Fire.
"The loss of life and devastation in the communities impacted by the 2020 Zogg Fire is heartbreaking, and we recognize that nothing can heal the hearts of those who have lost so much. We thank the courageous first responders who saved lives, protected property and worked to contain and put out the fire last year.
The company already has resolved civil claims with Shasta County and continues to reach settlements with individual victims and their families impacted by the Zogg Fire in an effort to make it right. We do not, however, agree with the District Attorney's conclusion that criminal charges are warranted given the facts of this case.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe."
PG&E Corporation Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe said, "I came to PG&E earlier this year to ensure that we make it right for those who have been impacted, and make it safe for the communities we are privileged to serve. We have taken a safety stand that everyone and everything is always safe, and we are determined to deliver on that promise."
New Undergrounding Initiative: Make It Safe/Bury the Lines
PG&E recently announced a major new initiative to expand the undergrounding of electric distribution power lines in High Fire Threat Districts (HFTD) to further harden its system and help prevent wildfires. The new infrastructure safety initiative is a multi-year effort to underground approximately 10,000 miles of power lines.
PG&E's Commitment to Wildfire Safety
PG&E's multi-faceted Community Wildfire Safety Program (CWSP) includes short-, medium- and long-term action plans to further reduce wildfire risk and keep our customers and communities safe.
Since 2018, its wildfire safety work has resulted in:
- Multiple inspections of distribution, transmission and substation equipment in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 high fire-threat areas;
- Hardening more than 600 miles of its system with stronger lines and poles to better withstand severe weather;
- Conducting enhanced vegetation safety work on nearly 5,000 line miles in high fire-threat areas (This is in addition to the more than 5 million trees that PG&E has trimmed or removed as part of its routine vegetation management efforts);
- Installing more than 1,000 sectionalizing devices and switches that limit the risk of wildfires and size of Public Safety Power Shutoff outages;
- Installing more than 1,150 advanced weather stations to help gather more data and information, so PG&E can better predict and respond to extreme weather threats;
- Installing than 400 high-definition cameras to monitor and respond to wildfires;
- Securing more than 65 helicopters reserved to quickly restore power after severe weather;
- Monitoring wildfire threats in real-time through a dedicated team at PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day during wildfire season.
Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts
In addition to significantly expanding its undergrounding, PG&E's ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-based and data-driven basis, as outlined in PG&E's 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP).
Learn more about PG&E's wildfire safety efforts by visiting pge.com/wildfiresafety.
About PG&E Corporation
PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pgecorp.com.