SAN CARLOS (KCBS) – A natural gas pipeline in San Carlos, whose safety has been under scrutiny for over a month, will be brought back into service next week.
Pacific Gas & Electric will return service to Line 147 on Monday, albeit at minimal pressure. The natural gas pipeline was taken out of service in early October, an order from the California Public Utilities Commission, after questions were raised about its safety.
An engineer’s email surfaced questioning if old welds in the line could pose “another San Bruno situation.” In September of 2010, a PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people, injuring dozens of others, and destroying nearly 40 homes in the Crestmoor neighborhood.
Late last month, an administrative law judge hearing the case regarding Line 147 ruled PG&E could operate the line, as long as it’s kept at 125 pounds of pressure per square inch, well below the 330 pounds that PG&E believes is safe.
PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord said come Monday, they will open the valve on the pipeline.
“Cold weather is coming, so we are concerned about increased gas demand for the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as colder weather, which is forecast for next week,” she said.
San Carlos City Manager Jeff Maltbie said the city would like the line to remain out of service until all of the reviews are complete, and the commission has a chance to weigh in.
“We’re glad to see the pressure remaining reduced at 125 pounds per square inch,” Maltbie said. “But we’re really hoping the CPUC will step in and make some permanent safety modifications to Line 147 in the next couple of weeks.”
Maltbie said the city’s independent expert’s preliminary conclusion is the line should not be operated above 220 pounds per square inch. The CPUC is expected to act on the matter next month.
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