San Carlos May Spend $250,000 To Determine Safety of PG&E Pipe

City has declared state of emergency with possibly corroded natural gas pipe not shut off.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area
    Map of PG&E Line 147 in San Carlos

    The natural gas pipeline owned by PG&E running underneath San Carlos homes, schools and businesses may be safe -- and it may not be.

    It's up to the city to find out -- and to spend $250,000 to do it, according to the Palo Alto Daily News.

    San Carlos City Manager Jeff Maltbie has announced plans to test the PG&E pipeline on his own, according to the newspaper. The money would go "to hire legal and technical experts," the newspaper reported.

    PG&E has been ordered to take the pipeline, Line 147, out of service by fiat of the California Public Utilities Commission, the newspaper reported. So far the utility has declined -- but has planned to reduce pressure on the pipe from 300 pounds per square inch to 120 psi by Monday.

    In the meantime, Maltbie has declared a state of emergency.

    There are concerns that a disaster similar to the September 2010 explosion and fire that killed eight people and burned 38 homes in San Bruno could happen on this pipe, which has external corrosion and cracks, according to PG&E emails.