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PG&E Statement on NTSB Hearing

Release Date: August 30, 2011
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today issued the following statement from President Chris Johns in advance of the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) hearing on the San Bruno accident investigation:

On September 9, 2010, a tragic accident involving a PG&E natural gas transmission pipeline occurred in San Bruno, California. Today, the National Transportation Safety Board will unveil the findings of its almost year-long investigation of the accident and provide further insight into the steps PG&E and the entire pipeline industry must take to assure such an accident never happens again. We remain firmly committed to that goal and are grateful to the NTSB and its staff for their efforts to help PG&E improve its natural gas operations and make the US pipeline industry safer.

Since September 9, 2010, PG&E has taken multiple steps to improve the safety of our natural gas operations, including:

• Creating a separate operating unit for our gas operations under the leadership of a newly hired gas operations expert who brings 30 years of experience in improving some of the nation's oldest gas systems
• Implementing more stringent pipeline operating standards
• Hiring more than 90 new gas engineers as well as additional project managers, mappers and other employees in a major nationwide recruiting effort
• Providing additional training to our gas operations employees
• Retaining leading safety experts to help implement public and employee safety best practices
• Beginning a major new initiative to replace or upgrade many older gas lines, add automatic or remote shut-off valves, and help develop state-of-the-art pipeline inspection technologies
• Improving our coordination with local emergency responders

The NTSB's continued work to determine the cause of this tragic accident is critical in helping PG&E and the industry understand what steps need to be taken to avoid a future accident like the one in San Bruno. As before, we will update our improvement plans based on these latest findings without delay.

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