A federal judge ordered field trips for senior executives and directors of Pacific Gas and Electric on Tuesday 5/7/2019, directing them to visit wildfire-ravaged California communities to see the destruction caused by the failure of the utility giant to keep trees and plants close to power lines.
“The devastation should be seen first-hand by the board of directors, we can take a bus. I think I’ll go on this tour as well. All lawyers may go, but the devastation should be seen first hand by the board of directors.” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said Tuesday in court that he ordered the field trip as part of a sentence for the recent violation of probation by PG&E.
Alsup ordered the leadership of PG&E on Tuesday to tour the city of Paradise, where thousands of residents were displaced by the Camp Fire that killed 85 people and burned 18,000 structures in November 2018. He also directed executives to visit Santa Rosa, where thousands of homes were destroyed by wildfires in 2017.
The judge also ordered that the board of directors of PG&E receive regular updates from a committee tracking the progress of the utility on meeting deadlines for trimming trees and burying or replacing uninsulated power lines as outlined in a state-mandated wildfire prevention plan.
Alsup did not extend the probation of PG&E or order the independent monitor to oversee its probation compliance to make its interim reports public. Federal prosecutors and PG&E urged the judge last month not to impose those conditions.
Alsup expressed concern before ending the hearing on Tuesday that the conditions he imposed might not be sufficient to prevent another wildfire from sparking as a result of negligently maintained trees near PG&E power lines.
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