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SCE To Pay $24.5M In Penalties For 2011 Electrocutions, Windstorm Outages

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(credit: Su-E Tan/CBS)

(credit: Su-E Tan/CBS)

LOS ANGELES ( — The California Public Utilities Commission finalized $24.5 million in penalties Thursday against Southern California Edison for extended outages caused by a 2011 windstorm that left almost 400,000 customers without power and for a separate case in which three people were electrocuted.

The CPUC found that some power poles maintained by Edison were faulty and too weak to withstand the gale-force winds that ripped across the San Gabriel Valley in late November and early December in 2011, leaving thousands of people without power for days.

Earlier that year in January, a man, woman and their grown son died when they were electrocuted by Edison power lines that had fallen in the back yard of their San Bernardino home, according to the CPUC.

“Importantly, the settlements required SCE to provide the CPUC with periodic reports on the results of the new programs designed to ensure that violations identified in the settlement do not happen again,” commission President Michael R. Peevey said. “This is very important, as the safety of electric infrastructure requires a proactive, ongoing commitment.”

When the penalties were proposed earlier this year, Edison officials said the funds would come from company shareholders and would not impact customer rates.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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