PG&E Avoids Criminal Cases and Will Pay Millions to Help Rebuild Counties/Reduce Wildfire Threats

By Carl Butz

On Monday, April 11, PG&E announced the criminal cases filed by counties affected by the Kincaid Fire (Sonoma, 2019) and the Dixie Fire (Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama) had been dropped or dismissed in return for roughly $55 million.

These funds will provide assistance for local non-profits, support for community colleges to expand their wildfire safety training and a direct claims program for victims of the Dixie Fire who lost their homes.

The utility company also will be strengthening its focus upon local safety work with 80-100 new PG&E jobs based in Sonoma County, as well as 80-100 more positions, collectively, across Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta and Tehama counties.

According to the organizations presss release, these new positions will “increase PG&E’s local expertise and presence focused on completing critical safety work in these communities.”

And, to ensure their Wildfire Mitigation Plan for vegetation management and equipment inspections is carried out properly, an independent monitor, the consulting firm Filsinger Energy Partners, has been hired.

Beneficiares of PG&E’s settlement with Plumas County include:

  • PCSF Foundation (Fairgrounds) $200,000
  • Maidu Summit Consortium: $200,000
  • Plumas Co. Fish and Game Commission: $200,000
  • Plumas County Rotary Clubs (split): $200,000
  • Plumas Rural Services: $200,000
  • Plumas Crisis Intervention Resource Center: $200,000
  • Plumas County Search and Rescue: $200,000
  • Sierra Institute: $1 million
  • Plumas Co. volunteer fire departments (split): $1 million,
  • Plumas Co. chambers of commerce (split): $1.2 million
  • Plumas Co. Office of Education: $2 million
  • Feather River College:$2 million
  • Dixie Fire Collaboration: $3 million
  • Plumas Co. Fire Safe Council: $5 million

The biggest winner: Santa Rosa Junior College. It will receive $5 million for its Fire Technology Program and another $1 million for its Vegetation Management Training Program.

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