PG&E ordered to inspect all natural gas lines
September 12, 2010
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced Sunday that PG&E has been ordered to inspect its entire natural gas system in response to last Thursday’s explosion in San Bruno. [NBC News]
CPUC President Michael Peevey said in the Sunday afternoon release he wanted to assure residents that immediate action will be taken. “We will direct PG&E to immediately begin an inspection of its natural gas transmission system, as well as to take other immediate actions to ensure safety and to assist in our investigation,” Peevey said.
On Friday the CPUC established a toll-free number and an email address for anyone who has information on a natural gas smell in the San Bruno area in the weeks prior to the explosion and fire. The number is 800-789-0550 and the email address is SBFire@cpuc.ca.gov.
The specific section of gas pipeline that ruptured was ranked as high risk because it ran through a highly populated area.
The Associated Press obtained documents that showed that PG&E submitted paperwork to regulators that said a section of the same gas line, but about two and half miles from the blast site, was within “the top 100 highest risk line sections” in the utility’s service territory.
The 30-inch pipe was installed in 1948, and was slated to be swapped for new 24-inch pipe. That project never happened.
Thursday explosion launched a 28-foot underground pipe about 100 feet into the air and on to the street.
Hundreds of San Bruno residents were allowed back in their homes for the first time on Sunday.