Governor appoints Shiroma to state’s utilities commission

Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed former SMUD board member Genevieve Shiroma to the state Public Utilities Commission, which regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, water, telecommunications and other services and utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Shiroma, who lives on Portola Way, had already started doing commission work before her Jan. 31 swearing-in. The position requires state Senate confirmation.

“I’m privileged and excited to help problem solve,” Shiroma told Viewpoint. “Public service is what I am. My experience at the SMUD board, the Agriculture Labor Relations Board and the California Air Resources Board make me a good fit for this PUC job, especially during this time of great change with the climate and the digital divide.”

Shiroma said she will resign from her position with the ALRB because the PUC job is full time.

Longtime Curtis Park residents will recall Shiroma was an advocate of increased safety in the Western Pacific Railroad yard four decades ago, and then for cleanup of toxics after the Union Pacific Railroad acquired the site. As a member of the SCNA board, Shiroma pushed for comprehensive testing of the entire railroad site for hazardous or toxic compounds. The resulting tests showed that 75 years of railroad use had left the site with troubling levels of arsenic, lead and petroleum hydrocarbons.

The railroad began the cleanup. It was completed after Petrovich Development Co. acquired the land in 2003.

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