PG&E Releases Pipeline Safety Plan
PG&E, the owner of a California natural gas pipeline that exploded in September, killing eight people, released a plan yesterday to upgrade its pipeline system. Under the plan, the utility will consult with regulatory and industry experts on installing remote shut-off valves that would immediately seal a pipeline in the event of an explosion.
The valves were a key recommendation of the Pipeline Safety Trust and other industry watchdogs in the aftermath of the San Bruno, Calif., explosion. The San Bruno pipeline segment that exploded did not have remote shut-off valves, and PG&E employees had to drive to the shutoff point to stop the massive explosion. It took more than an hour.
Other features of the plan include: modernizing pipelines so they can handle the best inspection equipment, developing new pipeline inspection technologies and improving the company’s communication with residents located near pipelines.
The plan comes as Congress is considering a number of pipeline proposals.