Peninsula Lawmaker Wants More Stringent Pipeline Reform

SAN BRUNO (CBS SF) – More than a year after the catastrophic natural gas explosion in San Bruno, reforms are still being introduced, with a local lawmaker wanting to build on some of the changes.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill has put three more pipeline safety bills in the hopper in Sacramento. The first would require state regulators and gas utilities to implement recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“They have made recommendations over the years that have been totally, completely ignored by the California Public Utilities Commission and by PG&E,” said Hill.

That includes installing automatic shutoff valves and phasing out plastic pipes, both recommended long ago.

Hill said he also wants to set up a whistleblower program to protect utility workers and require a company’s safety record to be considered when setting national gas rates.

He said with some of the changes being implemented, Pacific Gas and Electric and the CPUC seem to be moving in the right direction.

“The Commission may be on its way to transform itself from the lap dog it was to the bulldog it needs to be,” Hill said.

But Hill still has some concerns as the industry has stopped some of these reforms in the past.

Eight people died in the San Bruno blast and dozens of homes were destroyed.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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