Recent PG&E Pipeline Surges Alarm Experts

An internal email suggests PG&E has already recorded 40 pressure surges this year, in addition to 78 last year.

Sunday, May 20, 2012  |  Updated 3:17 PM PDT
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San Bruno Aftermath: a Look Back

Paul Sakuma/AP

A 2010 explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and left 38 homes in smoking ruins was blamed on a combination of factors, including an unexpected pressure surge and a substandard pipeline weld.

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Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has exceeded the designated maximum pressure on its natural gas pipelines more than 120 times since the 2010 deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The number of surges is causing concerns among safety experts, including the company's top gas official.

The Chronicle obtained a May 2 internal email written by gas-division chief Nick Stavropoulos saying the company had already recorded 40 pressure surges this year, in addition to 78 last year.

And, PG&E said in a statement last week, there have been three more since May 2.

The explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and left 38 homes in smoking ruins was blamed on a combination of factors, including an unexpected pressure surge and a substandard pipeline weld.

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