Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) Wednesday began cutting pressure on four natural gas transmission lines at the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The utility said the affected lines had experienced temporary pressure increases of more than 10% over the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP).

The lines covered by the CPUC order run from Manteca to Modesto, Milpitas to San Jose, and Watsonville through Aptos Hills in California. PG&E said it does not expect the pressure reductions to impact service to customers under normal weather conditions. "If extreme cold weather is forecast, PG&E will immediately work with the CPUC to minimize any service interruptions," it said.

According to data that PG&E filed Wednesday with the CPUC:

The CPUC investigation and pressure reductions are more fallout from the explosion of a PG&E line in San Bruno, CA, last year (see Daily GPI, Feb. 3; Sept. 13, 2010).

"We recognize that, in the wake of the tragic accident in San Bruno, we must take immediate steps to improve the operations and safety of our natural gas system," said PG&E President Chris Johns. "We have launched a series of initiatives to improve the safety and operations of PG&E's natural gas system...This process of improving our gas operations will take time to complete, but we continue to take steps to address any current concerns."

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