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

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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Danika, I hear your frustration, but unless we know for certain what PG&E’s protocol is or isn’t for maintaining these gas lines, we can’t assume PG&E doesn’t have an annual checklist to troubleshoot potential problems.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it would seem to be in PG&E’s best interests to confirm with the public their maintenance protocol and state what precautions have been taken in previously in San Bruno, pre-destruction. More than likely, though, this could likely be construed somehow as admitting guilt.

Are we closing the barn door after the horses got out? With all the regulation we have as citizens, you would think the public utilities would have an annual checklist of inspections to ensure public safety. Public safety should be number one. Now-a-days, it’s not even on the top five list.

1. Tax the public more

2. Charge the public more fees (which are really taxes but they are too stupid to realize this)

3 Take away citizen’s rights one by one (we will convince them it is in their own best interest)

4. Spend as much taxpayers dollars as possible and keep spending into bankruptcy

5. Deny the above as much as possible.