Feds drop asbestos safety violations case against SDG&E - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Feds drop asbestos safety violations case against SDG&E

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Federal prosecutors have dropped a case that claimed San Diego Gas & Electric Co. violated safety standards when removing asbestos.

The U.S. attorney's office dismissed the criminal charges on Tuesday. The utility was accused in 2006 of improperly removing asbestos from underground pipes in Lemon Grove.

In July, a jury convicted the utility, one worker and a contractor. SDG&E faced a $2 million fine and the workers faced years in prison. But a federal judge threw out the convictions and last month barred the use of key government asbestos samples for the retrial, saying they were improperly tested.

Debra Reed, the San Diego utility's chief, says it never violated any laws and the public was never at risk.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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