FEMA is already under fire from California lawmakers for asking the utility for money.
In a Jan. 8 letter addressed to Peter Gaynor — the acting administrator of FEMA — lawmakers wrote: “[T]his decision by FEMA jeopardizes the intended purpose of the fund, which was established to provide some measure of justice and restitution to thousands of households victimized by wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018.”
Lawmakers also said FEMA would "risk the possibility that the thousands of families still struggling to rebuild their lives will not receive the restitution they deserve.”
The lawmakers have also requested a meeting with FEMA.
FEMA spokesperson David Passy said the agency would prefer that the PG&E settlement amount increases, rather than having to bill wildfire victims.
"There’s still room for the settlement number to change," Passy said.
PG&E has a June 30 deadline to have all settlements finalized in order to to participate in the state's wildfire fund that would help protect the company from future fire losses.
"I would expect a lot more of our government than to treat victims of disasters in such a way," wildfire victims attorney Amanda Riddle said regarding FEMA's claim.
A hearing on the issue is scheduled in San Francisco's federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 11.
In a statement, PG&E said it does not believe FEMA has a valid legal claim against it.