California Utility Faces $550M In Penalties For 5 Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A major California utility has agreed to more than half a billion dollars in fines and penalties related to five wildfires in its territory in 2017 and 2018. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the settlement agreement with Southern California Edison on Thursday. It relates to the major Thomas and Woolsey Fires, which the utility’s equipment sparked, and three smaller fires. The utility’s shareholders will pay $110 million to California’s general fund and spend $65 million on safety improvements. The agreement bars the utility from tapping customers to cover $375 million in insurance-related costs for the two major fires. 

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