SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) — Pacific Gas & Electric announced a proposed settlement with Butte County on Monday over the deadly 2018 Camp Fire.
The settlement would mean the utility will plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire.
PG&E said the plea deal will resolve all state charges related to the deadly fire, which investigators found was triggered by the utility’s faulty equipment.
The utility also agreed to pay the maximum of approximately $4 million in fines, including the expenses related to the district attorney’s investigation.
“Our equipment started the fire,” said PG&E CEO and President Bill Johnson in a prepared statement. “Those are the facts, and with this plea agreement we accept responsibility for our role in the fire.”
Before the deal becomes final, it must be approved by the Butte County Superior Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
“All of us at PG&E deeply regret this tragedy and the company’s part in it,” Johnson continued. “We cannot replace all that the fire destroyed, but our hope is that this plea agreement, along with our rebuilding efforts, will help the community move forward from this tragic incident.”
PG&E had previously reached settlements with groups of victims from other wildfires in 2015, 2017 and 2018 – totaling about $25.5 billion.