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    PG&E penalized $1.4B for deadly pipeline blast

    SAN FRANCISCO — California regulatory judges issued a $1.4 billion penalty on Tuesday against the state’s largest utility for a lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in flames, killing eight people.

    The California Public Utilities Commission said the figure reached by two administrative law judges against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the San Bruno pipeline explosion represented the largest safety-related penalty it had ever imposed.

    The amount of the penalty is meant to ‘‘send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators, that they must comply with mandated federal and state pipeline safety requirements, or face severe consequences,’’ Judge Timothy J. Sullivan wrote in his order.

    Associated Press