WASHINGTON (KCBS) — The Senate Commerce Committee took up the issue of pipeline safety on Tuesday in the wake of the San Bruno explosion and fire.

Senator Barbara Boxer had some pointed questions for PG&E President Christopher Johns, including some on shut off systems for gas pipelines, especially those in populated areas.

“Will you commit to installing remote access or automatic shut off valves on those high-risk pipelines?” she asked. “I will work with the CPUC to put them in where everybody believes they make sense to put in,” Johns responded.

KCBS Melissa Culross Reporting:

It took PG&E two hours to cut off gas to the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno because valves had to be closed manually.

Along with Senator Diane Feinstein, Boxer has introduced legislation to double the number of federal pipeline inspectors, increase penalties for safety and require electronic pipeline shut off valves.

National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Christopher Hart also testified and said his agency’s investigation into the San Bruno tragedy continues.

“We will be looking at all the possible causes of this mishap, including corrosion, including whether there was damage from a nearby excavation,” Hart said. “We will be looking at all the potential causes to determine exactly what caused this burst.”

The NTSB plans to have a report completed on the explosion in 12 months.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 3am – 3pm PST

Watch & Listen LIVE