Category: California

SoCal Edison Investigated for its Possible Role in CA Wildfires

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Fire Investigators may be looking at the role Southern California Edison utilities could have played in the region’s wildfires.

Southern California Edison on Tuesday said it believes fire officials are investigating the company for its possible role in the catastrophic wildfires raging across the region.

About 250,000 acres have been burnt by multiple wildfires since last week, triggering some of the largest fire evacuations in the region’s history. Nearly 1,000 structures have been lost, and one person died in the fires.

The largest of the blazes, Ventura County’s Thomass Fire, continues to rage and is now the fifth largest in state history. The fires broke out during an intense Santa Ana windstorm that downed power lines across Southern California. The cause remains undetermined for most of the wildfires with the exception of Bel Air’s Skirball Fire, which investigators traced to a homeless encampment cooking fire.

In a press release, SCE officials said they believe CAL FIRE investigators are looking at the role of its utilities.

“The causes of the wildfires are being investigated by CAL FIRE, other fire agencies and the California Public Utilities Commission. The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the company stated. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities. SCE continues to cooperate with the investigations. The wildfire investigations may take a considerable amount of time to complete. SCE will provide updated information as circumstances warrant. ”

It’s not the first time this year that a utility has been investigated for its role in California’s wildfires. Authorities have been investigating Pacific Gas & Electric as a potential factor in the wine country fires that killed dozens of people.

California’s Smoking Age Raised to 21: Gov. Brown Signs New Laws

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The Governor also signed a bill which groups vaping into the same category— and thus restrictions— as traditional tobacco products.

It’ll soon be more difficult for California’s youth to get their hands on a pack of cigarettes or an electronic smoking device. Starting this summer, the legal smoking age in the state will be 21.

On Wednesday evening, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a handful of bills centered on tobacco laws. In a legislative update, his office announced the following had been signed:

The most recognizable bill is by Sen. Ed Hernandez, which raises the age one must be in order to Read more »

Governor Brown Issues Order on Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

Governor Brown Issues Order on Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

SACRAMENTO – Given the prolonged and continuing duration of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and at the request of residents and local officials, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation that declares the situation an emergency and details the administration’s ongoing efforts to help stop the leak. The order also directs further action to protect public health and safety, ensure accountability and strengthen oversight of gas storage facilities.

Earlier this week, Governor Brown met with Porter Ranch residents and toured the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility, including the site of the leak and one of the relief wells.

Today’s proclamation builds on months of regulatory and oversight actions from seven state agencies mobilized to protect public health, oversee Southern California Gas Company’s actions to stop the leak, track methane emissions, ensure worker safety, safeguard energy reliability and address any other problems stemming from the leak. Actions include:

  • The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services established an Read more »