Pacific Gas & Electric releases list of NG pipeline at risk

September 22, 2010

At the top of the list was a 6-mile-long segment of pipe near San Juan Batista that needed to be re-located because it "travels across the San Andreas fault line and through hillsides which are susceptible to landslides and soil erosion problems," according to the list. Just below that segment on the list is a 1.6-mile segment near Livermore that could potentially move and is made of materials that concern the company.

 

Surprisingly, the section of natural gas pipeline that exploded in San Bruno on Sept. 9 did not appear on the list. PG&E president Chris Johns said Monday that the segment of pipeline beneath a San Bruno neighborhood did not meet the criteria to appear on the list.

 

“This list is in flux. Some items will move up the list sometimes will move down the list,” said Johns.

 

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's staff was informed that PG&E had identified at least two of the gas pipelines running under his city as high risk.

 

“My staff got a courtesy call from PG&E,” Reed told KTVU Monday. “We have a good working relationship with them…They didn’t tell us a whole lot. We’ll have to wait and see how much information they release today.”

 

“Two sections of their big pipeline in San Jose (are classified as high risk)…There is a section of the pipe somewhere near the San Jose-Milpitas border and somewhere around Tasman (Drive) and (North) First Street.”

 

“I’m not surprised,” Reed said of the San Jose’s sites. “We are the largest city in PG&E’s territory. The fact that we have a couple is no big surprise.”

 

The mayor said his office would work with the utility to quickly evaluate and repair any threats the pipelines may pose.

 

“It’s important for us to know what happened in San Bruno,” he said. “At this point, we are not sure what has to be done around the pipelines…We’ve been thinking a lot about the pipes since the San Bruno explosion. We have hundreds of miles in San Jose of major gas lines.”

 

While Reed said he was happy that PG&E had informed city officials, he was not pleased with the limited amount of the information released.

 

“I’m not yet happy with what we have gotten,” he said. “We haven’t received much information whether PG&E has the information and hasn’t released it – I don’t know. Releasing the list is a step in the right direction.”

 

In other developments Monday, the San Mateo County Coroner was expected this week to confirm what family members have already made public – three members of Bullis family perished in the Sept. 9 explosion and fire.

 

That confirmation would raise the official death toll to seven with at least seven others remaining hospitalized with severe burns. Doctors at the St. Francis Medical Center in San Francisco said the four patients being in their burn unit were making slow but steady progress.

View the Risk list by clicking here.

Contact:
Wayne Young
404-200-5166 Phone
678-388-7074 Fax
wayne.young@ge.com

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