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The California Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E Corporation $6 million for failing to provide all required safety records for its network of natural-gas pipelines. The agreement is the latest development following the explosion last fall of a PG&E Corp. pipeline in San Bruno, Calif. that killed eight people and destroyed 38 houses. Investigators of the blast identified defects in the San Bruno pipe, which dated to the 1950s, that were not properly described in company records.

PG&E also agreed to do safety tests on pipelines that run through populated areas if records are missing, and to replace them if necessary. And it will continue to search for records to verify that all pipelines are being operated at safe pressures.

The California Public Utilities Commission said it would suspend $3 million of the fine if PG&E met all deadlines and finishes the work by August 31. The fines were to be paid with corporate money and will not be passed on to ratepayers, according to the agreement. (WSJ, 3/24/2011)