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PG&E Touts Awards For Gas Pipeline Operations; San Bruno Says Utility Is ‘Playing Russian Roulette’

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it has received two international awards for its natural gas operations on the same day the utility was criticized by San Bruno’s mayor for what a competing press release called ‘playing Russian roulette with California cities.”

At PG&E’s Oakport service yard in Oakland Tuesday, the company said it has achieved two international certifications for best-in-class operational standards for its gas operations.

The utility said an independent auditing firm, Lloyd’s Register, presented the awards after analyzing PG&E’s transmission and distribution pipeline network and storage facilities.

Also on Tuesday, at a press conference timed to coincide with PG&E’s announcement, San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane said the utility is deceiving the press and the public by continuing to operate unsafe gas transmission pipelines in California.

Ruane pointed to newly-released audits by the California Public Utilities Commission which showed 11 out of 20 quality control reports by PG&E were incorrect or missing documentation.

PG&E faces criminal charges in the 2010 San Bruno gas pipleline explosion and fire that killed eight people. An indictment in April charged PG&E with multiple violations of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968.

The utility has pleaded not guilty.

A 2012 audit by the State of California reported PG&E had illegally diverted millions from a safety operations fund toward executive compensation and bonuses.

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