San Francisco Sues Regulators Over Pipeline Safety

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The city of San Francisco has sued a federal pipeline safety agency for failing to enforce gas pipeline safety standards.

The lawsuit, filed by City Attorney Dennis Herrera, claims the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration failed to enforce the guidelines for more than a decade prior to the San Bruno explosion in September of 2010, which claimed the lives of eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation found that Pacific Gas and Electric did not adequately test gas lines and government agencies failed in their duty to investigate and enforce safety regulations.

Herrera said the agency has not addressed the concerns the city has laid out.

“The agency unfortunately is still asleep at the switch. It has ignored concerns San Francisco expressed last year,” said Herrera. “It insists it administers a strong public safety program even though it doesn’t. And it continues to flout the recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board.”

The suit follows a complaint filed by Herrera last year.

Noticeably absent from the suit, which was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court, is the California Public Utilities Commission, which was among the targets of Herrera’s initial complaint last year.

PG&E operates three major gas transmission pipelines that run beneath densely populated residential areas and business districts in San Francisco.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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