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Judge proposes PG&E power restrictions for next California fire season

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Staff Writer |
William Alsup
America   U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco

A U.S. judge proposed restricting utility PG&E from using power lines deemed to be unsafe during high winds in the 2019 California fire season.

In an order, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco also proposed that PG&E be required to reinspect its grid and “remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines.”

The judge is overseeing conditions of PG&E’s probation following a 2010 gas pipeline explosion, and directed the company to respond to his proposed order by Jan. 23. Alsup scheduled a hearing for Jan. 30.

PG&E is exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as a contingency, in part because it could soon take a significant financial charge for the fourth quarter of 2018 related to liabilities from fatal wildfires in 2017 and 2018, Reuters reported last week. A bankruptcy filing is not certain.

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