December 17, 2018

PG&E Safety

“To operate the grid in a safe manner, PG&E must be able to sign contracts and raise capital.”

— Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, said utilities must be able to borrow money cheaply to properly serve ratepayers. His comments came as the regulator ordered the utility to implement safety recommendations while it investigates the cause of the Camp Fire, which some have feared could be linked to PG&E equipment.

Clean Water Protection

“People deserve access to clean drinking water, and this order is a significant step in our ongoing effort to protect North Carolina communities and the environment.”

— North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael S. Regan. The state has proposed a consent order calling on Chemours’ North Carolina plant to reduce emissions of a potentially harmful chemical that has been found in drinking water, as well as pay a $12 million penalty.

Arkansas Bus Accident

“On behalf of all Memphians, our hearts and prayers go out to the Orange Mound children and their families involved in this morning’s tragic bus accident in Arkansas.”

— Memphis, Tennessee, Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement after one child was killed and at least 45 other people were injured when a charter bus carrying Tennessee’s Orange Mound Youth Association youth football team crashed before sunrise on Dec. 3 in central Arkansas, near Benton. The football team was traveling home after playing in Dallas.

Construction Falls

“Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry.”

— James Mulligan, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Braintree, Mass., office, said after Northeast Framing Inc., a contractor based in Lunenberg, Mass., was cited for exposing workers to falls and other hazards following an employee’s fatal fall at an east Boston worksite in May 2018. The company faces $311,330 in penalties.

Distracted Driving

“This study helps to highlight that there is a need to improve traffic safety and road management.”

— Phil Renaud, executive director of The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, commented following the release of a new study showing road design modifications can reduce the frequency and severity of distracted driving crashes. Researchers Zhenhua Chen and Youngbin Lym, assistant professors in city and regional planning at Ohio State, found that even the length of a roadway or number of lanes had an impact on the frequency of distracted driving crashes.