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PG&E Provides Update on San Bruno Recovery Efforts and Discusses Gas Pipeline Safety and Maintenance Program Company shares annual planning tool and clarifies its role in long-term maintenance process

Release Date: September 20, 2010
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

Download the Press Kit (Updated September 25, 2010).

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today provided an update on recovery activities in San Bruno, CA, following the rupture of a natural gas transmission line on September 9, 2010.

In a press conference earlier today, PG&E shared information on its gas risk management processes, including real-time system status monitoring.

"It's critical that the public and communities we serve are assured that PG&E is rigorously monitoring its pipelines and responsibly maintaining its system in accordance with proven industry practices," said Pacific Gas and Electric Company President Chris Johns. Johns added, "By releasing information on the Top 100 today, we are taking another step to provide the public with the information it needs to better understand our long-term process for assessing and maintaining the safe operation of our natural gas transmission system."

As part of this effort, PG&E has posted on its website the "Top 100" list, one of its protective maintenance and risk management planning tools used by engineers to focus resources and plan for future work on gas transmission pipelines. Also included on www.pge.com are accompanying maps to assist customers with specific questions about the location of gas transmission lines.

The "Top 100" list is one element of PG&E's pipeline safety practices that include, among other measures, regularly conducting leak inspections and patrols on all of its natural gas pipelines.

"PG&E has a standing practice to regularly evaluate and assess the condition of the company's key operating facilities," Johns said. "This planning tool is refreshed every year. This is entirely separate from the work we do every day to monitor our system and respond to issues requiring immediate attention. Anytime we identify work that needs to be performed to address an imminent safety concern, we do it immediately. The safety of the public and our employees is always our highest priority."

The information and maps are being provided directly to public officials and regulators as well. Over the next several weeks, PG&E will meet with Northern and Central California officials in whose jurisdictions the company's gas transmission system operates to review this information. The company will also use the opportunity to provide refresher safety training on its facilities to first responders in those communities.

The document identifies pipeline segments that the company has prioritized for monitoring or, in some instances, future repair or replacement. The segments are placed on the list based on a wide range of criteria, including the potential for third-party damage to the line, the condition of the pipe, its specific design and physical characteristics, its proximity to areas that may be prone to ground movement and its location relative to high density populations or environmentally sensitive areas.

Data used in the assessment are updated regularly throughout the year to reflect the latest engineering evaluations, field tests, hands-on inspections and maintenance work. The list serves as one of the planning tools engineers use to allocate resources and identify future projects. As conditions change from year to year, the company reevaluates the segments that are included.

PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

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