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Increased California Gas Pipeline Scrutiny Reveals Lack Of Inspectors

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Workers survey burned homes after pipeline explosion in San Bruno (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Workers survey burned homes after pipeline explosion in San Bruno (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Increased scrutiny of how natural gas pipelines are being inspected in California is revealing that the state has only small group of inspectors to check 110,000 miles of gas pipelines, mobile home park systems and propane distributors who do business in the state.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in its review of public records and other documents between 2003 to 2009, the California Public Utilities Commission was the only state agency enforcing federal rules that fell short each year in meeting the government’s minimum inspection levels.

The CPUC has acknowledges that its staff of nine inspectors is smaller than what the federal government recommends, but terms the inspectors as “very aggressive and very effective.”

Still, after the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9 the commission has announced plans to beef up its inspection team.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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