Safety and Enforcement Blog

CPUC Names New Director of Safety and Enforcement

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The CPUC) has selected Elizaveta Malashenko as the new Director of the Safety and Enforcement Division. She will assume her new duties immediately.

Since March 2013, Ms. Malashenko has served as one of the Safety and Enforcement Division’s Deputy Directors and has achieved significant improvement in enforcement program performance, such as reducing a backlog of gas incident investigations pending for over a year from more than 300 to less than 10. She has established a utility risk assessment organization that is spearheading safety analysis in the ratemaking process; ensured completion of more than 70 audits, 300 incident investigations, and 200 customer and whistleblower complaints on an annual basis; and implemented new Citation programs and issued more than $20 million in penalties.

Prior to joining the CPUC, Ms. Malashenko served as an executive management consultant with IBM Corporation where she led business transformation and strategy initiatives at some of the largest energy and utility companies in the U.S., including Duke Energy, Pepco, NiSource, and utilities in California, among many others.

CPUC Issues Citations to PG&E and SoCalGas for Safety Violations

(Natural Gas Pipeline Safety, Utility Enforcement) Permanent link

The CPUC issued Citations to PG&E and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) for natural gas-related violations found during the course of CPUC safety audits.

 

The CPUC’s safety and enforcement staff issued the following two Citations to PG&E:

·    $430,000 Citation for three violations that deal with specific Federal requirements that utilities must undertake to properly understand the risks faced by their systems and effectively manage system integrity, including requirements to periodically inspect and test pipelines to identify and repair potentially hazardous defects. Among several issues found during the audit, PG&E failed to immediately excavate and examine pipelines that showed signs of potential corrosion based on a process called indirect assessment. The violations were first found during an audit that began in September 2012. The violations were subsequently confirmed through additional investigation by CPUC staff that lasted into 2014.

·    $100,000 Citation for two violations related to a gap in PG&E’s Operator Qualification procedures that potentially allowed for non-qualified personnel to perform field work, which could create a hazardous condition for the public and utility employees. The violations were found during an audit that began in November 2013.

 

CPUC staff issued a $50,000 Citation to SoCalGas when during the course of a 2013 audit a utility employee was observed smoking inside a fenced valve station, creating a danger of an accidental ignition. Utility employees must control sources of ignition, not limited to cigarettes, within transmission and storage facilities. 

 

The utilities have 10 calendar days to pay or contest the Citations.

 

Read the Citations