PG&E's top priority is the safety of the public and our employees. We are taking steps every day to strengthen our natural gas transmission pipeline system and become an industry leader in pipeline safety excellence.
As part of this commitment to safety, in 2013, PG&E is conducting a comprehensive survey of our natural gas transmission pipeline network using high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping technology. This survey will enhance safety by producing a more precise pipeline map.
It’s one of our many ongoing pipeline safety programs, including leak surveys, pipe strength testing, pressure regulation, camera inspections and valve automation. These thorough testing and inspection programs ensure that our natural gas system safely and reliably delivers energy to our customers across the region.
PG&E conducts regular leak surveys and inspections of the natural gas transmission pipeline system. And by mapping the center of our pipelines using high-precision GPS technology, we will be better able to serve our customers, enhance our ongoing pipeline safety programs and work more efficiently with first responders.
As part of this survey, we are making brief property visits to take GPS readings where the pipeline runs underground. For these visits, PG&E contacts owners in advance and then, during our visit, we’ll treat property with care and consideration, and ensure that the privacy of owners and residents is respected.
Most private properties do not have an underground natural gas transmission pipeline on their property. For more information about where our pipeline network runs, click here for a searchable pipeline map.
It is common for sections of our pipeline to travel underground and beneath private property. Maintaining the area above the pipeline and ensuring ready access is a key part of our ability to safely operate the system. During this survey, we’ll be checking the area above the pipeline for structures or trees that could impact our ability to maintain, inspect and operate the pipeline.
Certain structures such as storage sheds, room additions, pools, and decks should not be located above the pipeline. Likewise, trees and large shrubs can interfere with the safe operation of the pipeline. Again, for more information about where our pipeline network runs, click here for a searchable pipeline map.
Like most utilities and municipalities that operate critical underground infrastructure, PG&E depends on accessible “rights-of-way” free of structures and certain vegetation. A right-of-way designates an area of land above the pipeline that PG&E may use to maintain, inspect and safely operate the pipeline. Pipeline rights-of-way are documented in written agreements with property owners called “easements.”
Easement agreements, which are recorded documents, create the shared responsibility between PG&E and property owners to maintain the area above the pipeline.
To find out if you have an easement agreement with PG&E, or to receive a copy of the easement agreement, please call PG&E’s Land Department at 877-259-8314.
We value our relationship with our customers, property owners, residents and businesses. During this survey, if we identify structures or certain vegetation in the area above the pipeline that could interfere with its safe operation, we will work cooperatively with property owners to remove, relocate or replace these items in a manner that is respectful and reasonable.
Structures and trees can interfere with our ability to maintain, inspect and safely operate our pipeline. If we see a structure or tree during our survey that may pose a safety concern, we will work with the property owners to take action immediately to address the situation. If you are concerned that a structure or tree on your property is located over the pipeline, please contact PG&E’s Land Department at 877-259-8314.