Improving our Natural Gas System
At PG&E, our top priority is the safety of our customers and the public. We are taking significant actions to ensure the integrity of our gas system, including verifying records, replacing pipelines, installing automatic shut-off valves and conducting hydrostatic pressure tests on pipelines throughout our service area. In 2012 and beyond, PG&E will continue working diligently to improve the integrity of our gas system to make it among the safest and strongest in the nation.
PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan: Setting the Record Straight on Its Costs
Since PG&E proposed its Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan in August 2011, there have been some claims that PG&E customers will have to pay higher rates to fix the company's past mistakes. The fact is, this is not true. PG&E shareholders are funding the work to bring the company's gas operations up to existing safety requirements, not PG&E customers. PG&E has spent approximately $360 million to improve gas operations in 2011 and plans on investing another $400 million in 2012 and 2013 for improvements to operations and customer service.
Improving our Natural Gas Transmission System
PG&E recently sent a letter to the NTSB to provide an update on the actions the company is taking following the September 2010 San Bruno pipeline accident. PG&E has fully embraced the NTSB's thoughtful and thorough recommendations and remains committed to regaining the trust of our customers and our regulators. Among the steps taken to address the NTSB's recommendations, PG&E has verified the maximum allowed operating pressure on 1,600 miles of natural gas pipelines, updated its emergency response plan to reflect industry best practices and is implementing data management systems to ensure its pipeline records are traceable, verifiable and complete.
- Learn more about the steps PG&E is taking to implement the NTSB's recommendations
Monthly Hydrostatic Testing Reports
In 2011, PG&E successfully strength tested, replaced or verified the strength test pressure records for more than 160 miles of its natural gas transmission pipelines. In 2012 PG&E plans to test about 185 miles as proposed in PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan.
- Download the December 2011 Hydrostatic Testing Report (PDF, 99 KB).
- Download the November 2011 Hydrostatic Testing Report (PDF, 120 KB).
- Download the October 2011 Hydrostatic Testing Report (PDF, 118 KB).
- Download the September 2011 Hydrostatic Testing Report (PDF, 116 KB).
- Learn more about PG&E's Hydrostatic Testing Program.
Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan
August 26, 2011
PG&E filed a comprehensive Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan with the CPUC to modernize its natural gas transmission operations over the next several years in order to achieve new, tougher standards for pipeline safety. The plan includes four key initiatives:
- Pipeline Modernization: Strength testing all pipe segments (including those previously exempted by federal regulations), replacing segments that should be replaced, and retrofitting pipelines to allow advanced in-line inspections, or "pigging"
- Valve Automation: Expanding the use of automated valves to isolate and minimize damage if any pipeline ruptures do occur, and enhancing electronic monitoring of the gas system to identify operational issues and prevent or quickly locate pipeline ruptures
- Pipeline Records Integration: Transitioning away from traditional paper records and consolidating all of its gas transmission pipeline data into an integrated electronic data management system to strengthen system operations, maintenance, inspections and regulatory compliance
- Interim Safety Enhancements: Taking immediate steps to enhance the safety of pipelines prior to completing the work proposed within the plan.
Download the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan filing (PDF, 2.4 MB).
Read the CURRENTS article on the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan.
Who Regulates PG&E?
NTSB is an independent U.S. Federal agency that investigates civil and transportation accidents, conducts safety studies and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.
California Public Utilities Commission
The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit and passenger transportation companies.
The Office of Pipeline Safety is the Federal safety authority for the nation’s 2.3 million miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.