East Bay

Exposed PG&E Gas Pipeline in East Bay Concerns Activists, Residents

An East Bay group believes an exposed PG&E natural gas pipeline in Contra Costa County could pose a potential threat to public safety.

The section of pipe is located in a remote area near Lafayette, and residents say the fact that it’s exposed and trees are overhead are reasons for concern.

Michael Dawson of Save Lafayette Trees, said he recently found out about the exposed pipeline near a trail in Briones Regional Park and took a photograph.

"We were surprised to see that this pipeline is as exposed as it is to the elements," Dawson said. "This pipeline is up about 10 feet in the center, it's sagging, there are portions of the pipeline that are exposed to the elements with no protection."

Even more bothersome are the two trees that are looming over the pipe, he said.

"So if a tree was to fall in this area, first, no one would know about it for a while, and if there was an auto ignition of the pipeline, it would create a very large fire," Dawson said.

Save Lafayette Trees has been fighting to stop PG&E from removing many trees as part of the utility’s pipeline safety initiative. But he thinks the two trees over the gas pipe should go. City officials are concerned too but say it's not their jurisdiction.

PG&E released a statement Wednesday, saying the pipeline is safe. It continues to be monitored as part of ongoing maintenance and activities, the utility said.

PG&E said workers are scheduled to revisit the site and gather more data to ensure continued safe operations.

Dawson also says, "We have been working with PG&E for the past year on gas safety concerns, and this was never brought up to our attention."

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