California Regulator Raising Concern with PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Measures

The California Public Utilities Commission has raised concerns over certain deficiencies that it says could affect PG&E Corp.’s ability to provide safe and reliable service, the power provider disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The regulator, in a letter dated Tuesday, said it will require remediation on specific issues identified in the San Francisco-based utility’s wildfire mitigation plan progress reports.

California Approves PG&E Bankruptcy Plan With Oversight, Safety Conditions

California regulators approved PG&E Corp.’s $58 billion reorganization plan, bringing the power giant another step closer to exiting the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted in favor of PG&E’s proposal after the company agreed to revamp its board and governance structure, submit to greater regulatory oversight and create local operating units to ensure a greater focus on safety.

New York Dusts Off 1918 Pandemic Playbook For Help in Making Subway Safer

As in 1918, New York may use staggered work hours to keep subway safe

As New York City makes plans to reopen in the coming months, officials are dusting off the playbook from the 1918 flu pandemic, when businesses were ordered to begin their work days at staggered times to prevent the subway from becoming a vector of disease.

DHS: TSA Considers Temperature Screening, Thermal Imaging

(TNS) -- After TSA rolled out a series of new measures Thursday to encourage social distancing and stop the spread of COVID-19, Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said the agency is considering checking temperatures and thermal imaging to help screen for the virus.

Wolf, a Plano native who toured Alliance Airport in Fort Worth for a look at shipping infrastructure, said it is a possibility that passengers will be screened for elevated temperatures before they board planes.

Dive Boat on Which 34 Died in Southern California Exempt From Safety Rules

The diving boat that caught fire on Labor Day off Southern California, killing 34 people, was among hundreds of small vessels exempted by the U.S. Coast Guard from stricter safety rules designed to make it easier for passengers to escape, according to a newspaper report Monday.

The Conception was one of 325 boats built before 1996 and given exemptions from standards imposed on new vessels, according to records cited by the Los Angeles Times. The newer rules required escape hatches at least 32 inches wide and illuminated exit signs.

Latest PG&E Power Shutdown Left Marin County, Calif., with Safety Concerns

(TNS) - Last month’s power shutdowns by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. left nagging questions about Marin County’s communications system and whether senior housing facilities in the county are prepared for the next shutdown.

On Oct. 27, when PG&E switched off electricity to most of Marin, nearly 50 percent of the county’s cell phone transmission sites failed. The next day 57 percent of the cell sites, 134 transmitters, were down in Marin, and the day after that more than 35 percent of the sites remained offline. No other county in the state had its communications system disrupted to this extent by the power outage.

Coast Guard Issues Safety Recommendations After California Dive Boat Fire

The Coast Guard announced it has issued new safety recommendations in the wake of a fatal boat fire off the Southern California coast that killed 34 people. The agency recommended limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and the use of power strips and extension cords.

The bulletin also suggests that owners and operators of vessels review emergency duties with the crew, identify emergency escapes, check all firefighting and lifesaving equipment onboard, and look at the condition of passenger accommodation spaces for “unsafe practices or other hazardous arrangements.”

Cal/OSHA Cites Solar Panel Installer $193K for Willful Fall Protection Violation

Cal/OSHA has cited an Anaheim, Calif. solar panel installation company $193,905 for multiple serious workplace safety hazards including one willful serious accident-related violation, following an investigation of a worker who was seriously injured after they fell from the roof of an Oakland home.

Cal/OSHA determined that Nexus Energy Systems Inc. did not provide required fall protection for their workers.

California Regulators Skeptical of PG&E’s Promise to Improve Safety

California regulators expressed skepticism that Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.’s new leaders have enough professional experience to instill the deep corporate culture of safety they say the company has lacked.

The utility has been blamed for more than a dozen of California’s most destructive wildfires in the past two years.

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