Proposed $2.14B fine
The California Public Utilities Commission last week proposed a $2.14 billion penalty against PG&E for its role in the catastrophic wildfires in the North Bay and Butte County in 2017 and 2018.
The proposed decision by Administrative Law Judge Sophia Park adds $462 million to a $1.7 billion penalty settlement agreed to last year by PG&E, the commission's safety staff, and utility union representatives for violations of regulations.
Like the previous settlement, the proposed decision would require shareholders rather than customers to absorb the cost of the penalty. But in addition to increasing the penalty amount, the revised proposal would require that any tax savings PG&E gains from tax deductions for the penalty would benefit customers and not shareholders.
BART Police Chief Ed Alvarez presented a report to the agency's Board of Directors on Feb. 27 showing that black BART riders are cited more frequently than other riders for certain violations.
BART released the data last week, showing that black riders received more than half of the citations for "quality of life" offenses, such as fare evasion, disruptive behavior and eating, drinking or smoking on trains, in both 2018 and 2019.
In comparison, black riders were cited more often for quality of life offenses than white and Hispanic riders combined in both years. Only about 10% of BART riders are black, while white riders comprise 35% of the system's riders.
Clorox named in suit
The Berkeley-based nonprofit Earth Island Institute has filed a suit alleging that some of the world's largest food, beverage and product manufacturers are polluting the world's oceans and waterways with millions of tons of plastic.
The suit, which was filed in San Mateo County Superior Court on Feb. 26, seeks unspecified compensatory damage and legal fees as well as a court order requiring the companies to reduce plastic production, pay for cleanup and stop implying their plastic containers will be recycled until there are resources available to do so.
The suit names as defendants The Clorox Company, Crystal Geyser Water Company, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle USA, Mars Inc., Danone North America, Mondelez International Inc., Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble.
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