Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) late last Friday filed its second annual report to state regulators summarizing its progress on current and future work aimed at improving its natural gas system’s safety as mandated by a state law (SB 705) passed in 2011 in response to the 2010 San Bruno transmission pipeline failure. Under its pipeline safety enhancement plan, PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that it has strength-tested 456 miles of its 6,750-mile gas transmission pipeline system. The utility said its has installed 76 automated shutoff valves on critical parts of the system while validating the safe operating pressure for the entire system. In addition, the utility said it is pursuing an internationally recognized gas safety certification for its system called “Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 55”; it also has established an employee-led company wide, grassroots safety committee to promote safe work habits, best practices and open communications; and it has a new Corrective Action Program to collect and act on gas system issues and ideas though a central internal company processing center. In addition, PG&E said its ongoing gas safety plan overall has been reviewed by several outside parties and includes input from employees at all levels of the PG&E gas operations organization.
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