PG&E Nears Completion of Gas Pipeline Safety Inspection
Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2013 – A California utility is nearly finished with a government-mandated inspection of its pipelines.
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recently issued a statement saying it is on schedule to finish inspection and pressure testing in its gas pipelines by the end of April, 2013. The safety review was part of a package of recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following a fatal 2010 explosion near San Francisco.
Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney David Lietz commented, “It is good to see PG&E making progress in its safety review and following the NTSB’s recommendations. Such inspections help uncover problems before they turn into disasters. Wherever possible, utilities should implement testing like this without having to be prompted by government agencies.”
The accident occurred on September 9, 2010, in San Bruno, California, a suburb of San Francisco. The explosion and ensuing fire killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.
The rupture was blamed on a defective weld seam. PG&E admitted negligence, but said mistakes had been made decades earlier. The pipe was installed in 1956.
PG&E has recently completed two other tasks recommended by the NTSB. The company has developed new procedures for performing work on its gas transmission system and has enhanced its program for public awareness of natural gas safety.
When the pressure tests on PG&E’s 6,000 miles of pipelines are complete, that will bring the number of completed tasks to seven out of the 12 the NTSB issued. The company said it plans to continue implementing the measures.
The utility is also building a control center for the transmission of gas in San Ramon, California. PG&E says the facility is state-of-the-art and will serve as a new nerve center for its gas operations after its completion.
On January 13, 2012, auditors hired by California issued a report saying PG&E had illegally funneled over $100 million from a safety operations fund into compensation and bonuses for its executives.
“The causes of natural gas pipeline explosions can be difficult to pin down, “Lietz added. “Anyone affected by such an accident should contact an attorney experienced in these cases.”
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