New data shows PG&E found nearly 10,000 problems with power equipment

PG&E is ramping up its safety inspections in an effort to prevent another massive wildfire after the utility released new data showing nearly 10,000 past issues with its power equipment.

Releasing this information is part of PG&E's wildfire safety efforts. The company calls it a "precautionary measure"  so they can figure out what needs to be fixed.

From November 2018 to May 2019, PG&E inspected 700,000 distribution lines, 50,000 transmission lines and 222 substations.

The company found 9,671 issues including equipment that is broken, outdated, decayed and rotting, among other problems. Of those that need to be replaced, 16 percent are in the Bay Area.

Here's part of a breakdown from the San Francisco Chronicle: 

PG&E found 2,511 incidents of broken or damaged equipment, 855 pieces of decayed or rotting equipment, 36 incidents of corrosion and 109 incidents of leaking.

PG&E placed the types of repairs in two different categories: A tags need immediate action and B tags require attention within three months.

According to the utility, all tags are repaired, are safe or are being worked on.

There's also a county-by-county breakdown on the website that shows in San Mateo County, for example, 100 percent of equipment that needed immediate action has been repaired.

"We've accomplished a lot, but there is more work to do," Sumeet Singh, PG&E vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Program, said in a statement. "Our system is better today than it was yesterday, and it will be better tomorrow than it is today. We are committed to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep our customers and the communities we serve safe." 

Consumer advocates don't see it that way.

"It's very hard to trust anything that PG&E says,'' said Mark Toney, executive director of The Utility Reform Group. "After the San Bruno explosion in 2010, PG&E said, 'We learned our lesson. Safety is first.' In 2016, after the Butte Fire, 'We learned our lesson. Safety is first.' 2017 fires, the same. 2018, the same and here in 2019. we're hearing the same refrain."