PG&E touts pipeline safety standards

Sept. 7, 2012 at 9:56 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said state regulators found its pipeline safety standards met industry standards.

Nick Stavropoulos, executive vice president of gas operations at PG&E, announced the California Public Utilities Commission confirmed its own findings that the company's pipelines met industry standards.

"Hydrostatic tests give tangible, relevant and credible evidence that we are operating our gas system safely," Stavropoulos said in a statement. "We stand behind the results of our testing, and we remain committed to the highest-quality work as we improve our natural gas system."

A natural gas pipeline operated by PG&E exploded Sept. 9, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif., killing eight people and damaging 38 homes.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported in April that PG&E indicated in an internal memo that a weld seam failed and likely caused a leak in 1988 about 9 miles south of the San Bruno accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board said PG&E didn't know what kind of pipe was beneath San Bruno and had said defective welds contributed to the explosion.

The company could face as much as $200 million in penalties related to the incident.

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