San Bruno Community Response
On September 9, 2010, a PG&E natural gas pipeline ruptured in the Crestmoor neighborhood of San Bruno, California – a tragedy that changed the community forever. Since the day of the accident, PG&E has made every effort to support the residents and City of San Bruno. We have committed $70 million to the City of San Bruno to set up a non-profit public purpose entity, established a $50 million trust fund for the city and disbursed more than $50 million to support residents.
As a result of the accident, eight people passed away, others were injured and many lost their homes. We are deeply sorry that our pipeline was the cause and the greatest way we can honor the victims of the accident is by making sure something like this never happens again.
Initial response: Supporting affected residents
In the hours and days that followed the accident, PG&E crews worked quickly to make the area safe, assess the damage and partner with emergency services to safely restore power to customers. PG&E crews quickly surveyed the gas transmission and distribution system to make sure we could restore our facilities safely.
A PG&E customer outreach center was established to quickly help residents get the services and supplies they needed. The center was available on a drop-in basis immediately following the accident. The center, which is now located at 999 Bayhill Drive in San Bruno, is open for residents who have scheduled appointments with claims managers. Download our letter to customers (PDF, 25 KB).
To support those who needed emergency shelter, PG&E worked with the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. PG&E had staff on hand at the Red Cross evacuation center to help customers obtain needed help and services. PG&E also committed $1 million to a special charitable fund to support community-based aid and recovery efforts of nonprofit organizations responding to this event, including the American Red Cross Bay Area, The United Way 2-1-1 Program, and the Blood Centers of the Pacific, among others. The fund was also created to support future, longer-term community projects in the affected San Bruno neighborhood. PG&E has since committed $2.5 million to support outreach for the Ready Neighborhoods program in San Bruno and across California.
PG&E also immediately suspended the gas and electric bills of all customers in the Crestmoor subdivision. PG&E's San Bruno Bill Relief program ensured that affected residents were not charged for energy use for the months, and in some cases years, following the accident. PG&E shareholders are funding the Bill Relief program.
Ongoing support: Rebuilding San Bruno
PG&E is committed to supporting the full recovery of the neighborhood and to doing what is right to help those who have been affected by this accident.
In March 2012, PG&E reached an agreement with the City of San Bruno to pay $70 million to support the city and the community’s efforts to recover after the Sept. 9, 2010, PG&E pipeline tragedy. The money will enable San Bruno to establish a not-for-profit public purpose entity to manage the funds and determine how they should be spent for the benefit of the community.
PG&E has also established a trust for the City of San Bruno to be funded up to $50 million to cover any costs that are directly related to the fire and the cost of recovery. The trust provides funds for infrastructure repair and replacement, additional staffing costs, costs of participation in regulatory proceedings, and the costs of legal and other experts as needed.
Finally, PG&E has disbursed more than $50 million to provide affected residents with immediate relief checks and gift cards, goods and services, emergency assistance, property damage, reimbursements, rebuilding/repurchasing programs, and more. This amount does not include payments made by PG&E to resolve personal injury claims or litigation.
Moving forward: Ensuring safety
Immediately following the accident, PG&E reduced pressure on our gas transmission pipelines on the San Francisco Peninsula as an interim safety measure. Since then, we've systematically tested and verified the safe operating pressure of these pipelines and sought regulatory approval before restoring normal pressure. Some pipelines still operate at a reduced pressure today. The damaged section of pipeline in San Bruno has been permanently decommissioned.
To determine the cause of the accident, PG&E cooperated fully with the NTSB’s investigation and fully embraced the resulting recommendations.
We made a promise that we would one day operate the safest gas pipeline system in the country. We owe it to our customers, our regulators, and our employees – who live and work in our communities – to follow through on that vision.
Every day we’re making tangible progress and what we’ve done so far is unmatched in the industry. We’ve invested in an unprecedented amount of testing, monitoring, equipment replacement and system upgrades to build and maintain a system of safe and reliable gas pipelines. These changes can be seen and felt and documented today by our employees, our customers, and our communities. But we have said from day one that there is much work to do, and our job won’t be done until our promise is achieved.
Gas Transmission Pipeline Information
PG&E has a comprehensive inspection and monitoring program to ensure the safety of its natural gas transmission pipeline system.
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