State PUC approves $51.5 million in settlements in 2007 Malibu fire

An employee with Malibu Glass & Mirror walks through the rubble of the business after the October 2007 Malibu Canyon fire.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

The California Public Utilities Commission approved settlement agreements Thursday totaling $51.5 million with Southern California Edison and NextG Networks to resolve concerns about overloaded power poles that sparked the 2007 Malibu Canyon fire.

The agreements announced earlier this year penalize the companies for wrongdoing and require the inspection of more than 60,000 poles to ensure they comply with the PUC’s safety rules.

SCE acknowledged a pole was overloaded and agreed to pay $37 million. NextG, a telecommunications company, also admitted that a pole was overloaded and agreed to pay $14.5 million.


Some of the money from both companies will go into California’s general fund. The balance will be used for safety audits and mitigations.

A year ago, the PUC approved a settlement agreement for $12 million with AT&T;, Verizon and Sprint.

The October 2007 blaze began when three utility poles fell during a Santa Ana windstorm. The fire burned 3,836 acres and destroyed or damaged dozens of structures and vehicles. The poles were jointly owned by SCE, AT&T; Mobility, Verizon Wireless and NextG Networks of California.


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