PG&E Gets 30-Day Notice - NBC Bay Area

PG&E Gets 30-Day Notice

State regulators put a tight deadline on PG&E to inspect major gas lines.



    Watch as people just a few blocks away from the deadly gas line explosion in San Bruno witness the blast and fireball. (Published Monday, Sept. 13, 2010)

    State regulators have ordered Pacific Gas and Electric to inspect all the major gas lines from Eureka to Bakersfield for leaks that could potentially be as destructive or worse than the one in San Bruno.

    On Monday, state regulators issued a tight deadline for those inspections: 30 days. The company was also ordered to fix any problems at all of its transmission pipelines and give the state details of those issues by Oct. 12.  The worry about pipeline issues is something people are talking about across the state.

    To the victims of Thursday's natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno who attended a community meeting Monday night, perhaps the only thing that became perfectly clear was that answers to all their questions would not be given anytime soon.

    The meeting, which was led by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, brought together representatives from PG&E, the National Transportation Safety Board, the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The NTSB is leading the investigation into the explosion and fire.

    Ground Video: Inside the Explosion Zone

    [BAY] Ground Video: Inside the Explosion Zone
    Our cameras were allowed into the hot zone 24 hours after a PG&E pipe exploded destroying many lives and homes.
    (Published Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010)

    Here is a link to a Website that can tell you what kind of pipeline run near your home.

    Community members were told there is no guarantee that PG&E will remove the 30-inch pipe from beneath their homes.

    PG&E officials says it took an hour and 47 minutes to shut the gas off after the rupture. The NTSB is also looking into that as part of the investigation.

    PG&E has pledged to spend up to $100 million to help the city and its residents recover from the disaster. Within the next week, the company  plans to start giving residents "no-strings-attached" checks for up to $50,000 to help them get through the first phase of the recovery process. The utility company has already given $3 million to the city of San Bruno to fix streets, parks and sidewalks damaged by the explosion.

    When asked during Monday night's meeting what happens to homeowners six months down the road, Geisha Williams, another PG&E senior vice president, sought to reassure the community.

    "PG&E has been here 100 years. We are here today, and we will be  here tomorrow," she said. "We are in it for the long haul."

    Speier argued that homeowners and residents should be informed about pipelines coursing through their neighborhoods.

    "This is absolutely a 'right-to-know' issue," Speier said.

    Fire victims got their first up close look at their devastated neighborhood Monday afternoon during an emotional bus tour many said was too fast.

    All that was left of Disa Shepherd's family home was the chimney. She says her family hung Christmas stockings from that fireplace for 50 years. Shepherd is grateful everyone survived and they can cherish the memories.

    Bob Hensel, 73, wants a chance to sift through the ashes where his home once stood. He and his wife raised five kids in the house.

    PG&E officials say that if residents don't want to rebuild in the San Bruno neighborhood, they may consider helping them rebuild somewhere else.