Edison Admits Errors in Malibu Fire; Settlements Top $60 Million
MALIBU, Calif. — Southern California Edison Co. agreed Monday to pay $37 million to resolve concerns about three overloaded utility poles that sparked the 2007 Malibu Canyon fire, a settlement that would bring the total payout for the destructive fire to more than $60 million.
Under the agreement, the utility giant would admit that it violated the law by not taking prompt action to prevent a telecommunications company from attaching fiber optic cable to jointly owned poles in Malibu Canyon. Socal Edison also would acknowledge that a letter it sent to the PUC after the fire did not identify pole overloading and termite damage as possible contributing factors in the pole failures.
The proposed settlement with the California Public Utilities Commission staff represents the third, final and largest agreement regarding the fire.
All told, the settlements would bring in $63.5 million, of which $35.4 million would go to the state’s general fund and $28.1 million would be spent on pole inspections and remediations in Malibu Canyon and environs.
The Edison deal is still subject to approval by the full PUC.