Lawmaker Promotes Pipeline Safety Bill

Jerry Hill returns to the scene of the San Bruno explosion to press his point on pipeline safety.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011  |  Updated 5:19 PM PDT
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San Bruno Aftermath: a Look Back

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Aerial view of damage caused by a massive fire in San Bruno.

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The state lawmaker who wants much stricter regulations for natural gas providers like PG&E who serve neighborhoods like San Bruno made his case on the peninsula Tuesday.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill went to the spot of last year's fatal pipeline explosion to outline the details on AB56.  The bill would require utilities to install automatic shutoff valves on piplines in highly populated areas. It would also require gas companies submit plans for comprehensive testing of their transmission systems to state regulators and hire a safety consultant who would report to the legislature yearly.

Hill represents the Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood where the gas line ruptured on Sept. 9, 2010, The explosion killed eight people, destroyed 38 homes and injured dozens more. Among those in attendance on Tuesday was the mother of one of the victims, Jessica Morales.  Morales' mom said while it was hard for her to return to the place where her daughter died, she felt she had to in order to make sure her daughters life meant something by trying to protect others from the same fate.

On that day, it took PG&E 90 minutes to shut off the flow of gas.

AB56 is scheduled to be voted on in the state Assembly this week.  The one year anniversary of the explosion is this Friday. 

HIll said Tuesday that while PG&E has 5,700 miles of natural gas lines in its service area, only 56 percent of those pipelines have been properly tested.

He called PG&E's infrastructure a "ticking time bomb."

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