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Monday, January 31, 2011

Feinstein and Boxer Crack Down on Pipeline Safey After San Bruno Blast

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:02 PM

click to enlarge This sucks
  • This sucks

It's kind of hard to imagine that any agency could be more disorganized than San Francisco's Housing Authority which can't keep its records straight long enough to collect a month's worth of rent. But it appears that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. might be surpassing the SFHA's notoriously shoddy record-keeping.

While PG&E continues to try and locate important documents that could probably save other communities from a San Bruno-style blast, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have introduced legislation to -- at the very minimum -- make people feel better about the natural gas pipes buried below them.

The bill, which was introduced on Monday, would double the number of pipeline safety inspectors and mandate the use of new technology to detect corrosion in pipes before it is too late.

It would also increase penalties for companies that fail to obey federal

regulations, like keeping track of pipeline safety documents.

"Americans shouldn't have to worry that the pipes beneath their feet will explode," Feinstein said.

No, they really shouldn't, but they do -- and for good reason.

The legislation was rolled out a few days after Congresswoman Jackie Speier said she was "appalled" by PG&E's record-keeping. The company has not been able to produce the right records that would show where there are other weaknesses in pipelines across Northern California. These records could help communities prevent another blast like the one in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010,  which killed eight people, destroyed homes and injured dozens of others.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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