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New Bill Would Force CPUC To Follow Pipeline Safety Guidelines

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Cupertino gas, leak, explosion

PG&E workers inspect a damaged gas line outside a Cupertino condominium, September 2, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –The California Public Utilities Commission could soon be under more pressure to address pipeline safety issues in the wake of a number of natural gas explosions. A new bill introduced by Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jerry Hill would require mandatory implementation of NTSB safety recommendations.

The pair introduced the bill Thursday as they stood in front of a Cupertino Condo that was destroyed when a plastic gas line exploded on August 31st. Hill said that the legislation is needed because NTSB recommendations have been routinely ignored over the years.

“The type of pipe that cracked and broke in Cupertino was identified in 1998 by the NTSB after 40 deaths nationwide,” said Hill. “They were told that they needed to make changes, and that this pipe needed to be checked and replaced, and that was ignored.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Walt Doucatt, who lives in the complex, said that the plastic pipe that was used until the mid 90’s is obviously a concern.

“We know that there’s a problem with plastic pipe,” said Doucatt. “It’s brittle, and it cracks and it leaks.”

PG&E Spokeswoman Brittany Chord said that they’ve been focusing their attention on replacing older cast iron, copper and steel pipelines, which are more vulnerable in an earthquake.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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