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September 28, 2010 > Sources to find information on PG&E gas pipelines

Sources to find information on PG&E gas pipelines

By Meenu Gupta

Natural gas pipeline danger has become a matter of concern for the public since the explosion of a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) gas transmission line in San Bruno on September 9. However, the tragic incident was avoidable. Over 100 houses were damaged from the gas line rupture; over 50 of these homes completely destroyed. PG&E has recently posted on its website the "Top 100" list for future work on gas transmission pipelines.

"By releasing information on the Top 100, we are taking a step to provide the public with the information it needs to better understand our long-term process for assessing and maintaining the safe operation of our natural gas transmission system," said Pacific Gas and Electric Company President Chris Johns.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has established an independent panel of experts to review the San Bruno explosion and the safety of PG & E's natural gas transmission lines. "There are still many unanswered questions about what happened in San Bruno, and I promised the people of California answers. In order for this panel to find answers, it must consist of highly-qualified experts determined to leave no stone unturned and committed to sharing all their findings with the public. I applaud the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for taking this step and will continue to work with them to get to the bottom of this terrible tragedy," said Governor Schwarzenegger. CPUC has ordered PG&E to inspect all of its 6000-plus miles of gas transmission lines in northern California by mid-October.

Fremont has requested information from PG&E regarding the condition of gas pipelines that run through Fremont, which include Line 131 and Line 107. Line 131 is on PG&E top 100 list that needs repair. On the PG&E website, Map No. 14 reads, "Evaluate the potential replacement of 22,363 feet of pipe between the Vargas Rd and Irvington Station due to the potential for ground movement. This section of L131 is located over the steep slopes from the Vargas Rd to Mission Blvd and through a 10-15 foot easement through central Fremont to I-880. Construction currently is scheduled for 2012."

Residents can go to the following resources available to answer questions and offer details regarding local pipeline locations. Residents may visit the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) website, at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The site allows visitors to check specific locations around the state to view their proximity to gas and hazardous liquids transmission pipelines. Due to the recent high volume of traffic, the site has been experiencing some access issues, but it remains one of the most comprehensive resources for pipeline information.

Another way to find out if you have a PG&E facility on your property is to check your title report if it is available. It will state if PG&E has an easement on your property. Residents may also contact PG&E - 24 Hour Customer Service at 1-800-743-5000 or visit www.pge.com. The website includes maps to assist customers with specific questions about the location of gas transmission lines.

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