The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is the state’s regulatory agency responsible for policing privately owned public utility companies. Because reports of fires occurred simultaneously with reports of electrical issues, the CPUC is investigating whether PG&E is to blame.
The CPUC is specifically looking into whether inadequate maintenance of PG&E’s power infrastructure started the deadly fires. PG&E has been ordered by the CPUC to preserve all electrical equipment related to the string of fires and provide internal communications regarding the electrical issues and fires since Sunday, October 8th. The president of the CPUC has stated the agency will focus on PG&E’s maintenance history.
“PG&E must inform all employees and contractors that they must preserve all electronic (including emails) and non-electronic documents related to potential causes of the fires, vegetation, maintenance and/or tree-trimming,” Elizaveta Malashenko, director of the CPUC’s safety and enforcement division, sent a letter to PG&E ordering it to “preserve all evidence” regarding the fires.