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Ruane: PG&E Agrees to Reroute Pipeline

Section of damaged PG&E pipeline
//yeti-cir-test.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/images/2010/9/san-bruno-pipeline/original/pipeline San Bruno.jpg
Section of damaged PG&E pipeline
 
San Bruno mayor says company will move gas line that ruptured

Updated Oct. 22 at 2:03 p.m.

San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane told reporters Friday afternoon that Chris Johns, president of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, had agreed to relocate a natural gas transmission line that exploded last month.

Line 132 ruptured beneath San Bruno and caught fire Sept. 9, killing eight people.

 

"Mr. Johns made the commitment to me on behalf of PG&E that he did not want that pipeline reconnected through the Glenview neighborhood and that PG&E would do everything they could to find another location," Ruane said.

"He explained that there could be some hurdles involved, be they environmental or regulatory, that may have to be crossed, and our assistance and that of others would be crucial to his endeavors." 

Ruane said Johns asked San Bruno to help the company identify new pathways for the pipeline, which suggests that PG&E will consider relocating the pipeline within the city.

 

Ruane and relatives of blast victims had repeated calls for the pipeline to be moved away from the devastated city during a hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday.

"We want that pipeline removed or capped off," Ruane told state lawmakers.

Utility spokeswoman Katie Romans on Friday morning told The Bay Citizen that PG&E would work with city, state and federal leaders in an effort to determine whether the pipeline should be moved.

“We realize nobody wants that pipeline to be rebuilt in the neighborhood,” Romans said. “We will work with federal, state and city leaders to evaluate all available options. It will not be a decision that PG&E makes on its own.”

State Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat whose district includes San Bruno, welcomed PG&E’s gesture.

“There are several competing interests in finding the appropriate location, but surely there must be a better place than through the middle of a residential neighborhood,” Yee said in a statement. “I am confident we can come together as a community and get this done right.”

As a safety precaution orded by state regulators, the 30-inch-wide transmission pipeline is currently operating at 20 percent below its pre-Sept. 9 pressure. Gas that would normally pass through the pipeline beneath San Bruno is currently being rerouted through another pipeline.

PG&E-funded consultants are researching whether the pipeline could be returned to full pressure before demand for natural gas spikes in winter.

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