PG&E One Year Late in Producing Pipeline Safety Documents

Pacific Gas and Electric Company cannot produce required documents, the company pleaded this week.

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PG&E will miss the state-imposed deadline to produce pipeline safety paperwork by one year, the utility informed state regulators this week.

The company has been on the hook to cough up documents detailing the safety of its natural gas pipeline network since a weak weld in a pipe in San Bruno led to the fatal Sept. 9 inferno, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Despite a June 20 deadline, the company told the California Public Utilities Commission this week that there's no way it can produce the documents detailing what has been done to safeguard its natural gas network until Dec. 31... 2012.

This is the second time PG&E's been in the CPUC's doghouse for slow reaction. The CPUC has threatened to fine PG&E up to $3 million for failing to locate records showing that the company's natural gas pipelines, which run under numerous homes and businesses in the Bay Area and beyond, are set at safe levels, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The company says it can't possibly both dig up paperwork and perform safety tests on its pipes at the same time and be expected to cough up documentation by the end of 2012. Utility advocates called PG&E out "for not being able to walk and chew gum" at the same time.

PG&E has asked to be allowed just to produce information on its urban pipes, of which there are over 1,800 miles in California. Its total natural gas network is almost 6,000 miles of pipes.

So they claim, anyway.

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