REDWOOD CITY -- The state Attorney General and San Mateo County District Attorney offices won't pursue criminal charges against PG&E for the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, but federal prosecutors still have an additional two years to file against the utility, officials said Monday.

The deadline for state and county prosecutors to act passed Monday -- the third anniversary of the Sept. 9, 2010, explosion that killed eight -- without criminal charges. But U.S Attorney Melinda Haag has until 2015 to lodge a complaint against Pacific Gas & Electric.

"We're working with our federal partners," San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said. "They still have two years left on the statute for federal charges."

While it is unknown if Haag's office will pursue a criminal case against PG&E, federal investigators have previously slammed the company for its shoddy record keeping and inadequate emergency response after the blast, which also destroyed 38 homes.

Utility spokeswoman Brittany Chord said: "We continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation at the federal level."

A spokesman for Haag didn't immediately respond to requests for comments and a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to comment.


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The blast happened when a 30-inch diameter, high-pressure gas line under a San Bruno neighborhood tore open along a faulty seam and then spewed flaming gas for 90 minutes before the utility squelched the flow. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, which faulted PG&E for the explosion, subsequently found the company had significant gaps in its record keeping that contributed to the rupture.

The neighborhood remains scarred by the explosion, with just over half the homes rebuilt three years after the explosion. Also, PG&E, San Bruno officials and state safety regulators at the Public Utilities Commission continue to battle over the amount of the company should be fined for the rupture and fire.

Because federal prosecutors now have total control over whether PG&E will face criminal charges for the deadly blast, some local leaders were left feeling concerned.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, whose district includes the ravaged neighborhood, said he was disappointed the local and state prosecutors' decided not to file charges.

They could have "at least filed charges that could have been dropped if necessary later, if and when, the U.S. Attorney files charges," the San Mateo Democrat said. "I'm not confident the U.S. Attorney has the same level of outrage and commitment to justice that I and the residents of San Bruno feel over what occurred three years ago today."

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.