PG&E to inspect pipelines in the City
September 29, 2010 1:30 AM
In addition to rehabilitating the affected area in San Bruno, Calif. following the Sept. 9 pipeline explosion and fire, PG&E will have to test the pipes running under San Francisco.
Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and the city administrator to lead an Infrastructure Safety Review with PG&E to assess the condition of natural gas pipelines that were installed throughout the city more than 50 years ago.
Two pipelines run along either side of SF State's campus. One is estimated to run along 19th Avenue and the other along Lake Merced Boulevard.
The resolution states that after its approval, PG&E has 45 days to provide the infrastructure information about the city. Currently, gas pipeline maps are available on the PG&E Web site, but do not show pipeline locations by street.
Understanding city pipeline infrastructure became a priority after the recent San Bruno fire. Chu said the urgency and involvement of the San Francisco Fire Dept. made it clear that the city needed to be proactive about the safety of all the pipes running underground.
"This issue is not a new issue," she said. "This is about the safety of the city."
Joe Molica, a PG&E representative, said the company is working on getting a complete report to include the "location, position, age and maintenance" of each pipeline.
The day after the San Bruno fire, PG&E communicated with San Francisco officials, as well as other city officials in California, to start making plans for future pipeline evaluation.
PG&E has compiled and published a list of the top 100 segments of pipelines they plan to evaluate in the state.
The SFFD and PG&E met at the SFFD headquarters Sept. 15 to start discussion about necessary actions needed to address the resolution and review the map of pipelines in San Francisco.
Hayes-White said the goal of the evaluation is to get the locations and addresses of high risk pipelines in the city to "not have a repeat of San Bruno."
Currently, the SFFD is reviewing and analyzing the data given by PG&E.
"The chief will come to an understanding of what we have here in San Francisco," said SFFD spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge.
They plan to meet again at PG&E headquarters Sept. 29 to explore the conditions and maintenance of the pipes in the city as well as focusing on certain areas.
"(PG&E) has given us everything we've asked for," Hayes-White said.
"We're continuing the discussion and reviewing (the City's) emergency response to protocol and our emergency response protocol," Molica said.
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