Interview: CPUC Executive Director Slams PG&E Documentation Filing, Calling it “Amazing”

On Tuesday, PG&E made a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission that was supposed to provide documentation justifying pressure levels on untested segments of its gas pipeline.

The order stemmed from the NTSB’s discovery that the company’s documentation related to the exploded section of pipe in San Bruno incorrectly showed the pipe as seamless, when in fact it contained multiple flawed welds.

After reviewing the submitted documents, however, the commission is not impressed. From a letter sent to PG&E President Christopher Johns by CPUC Executive Director Paul Clanon. The letter takes PG&E to task for relying on a recounting of the grandfathering process that set maximum allowable operating pressure on pipelines in 1970, rather than documentation showing that the pressures are, in fact, safe.

In its March 15 response, PG&E failed to comply with this demand for information and analysis, and as a consequence PG&E is violating the Commission’ s order.

PG&E’s March 15 response contends that “PG&E understands the intent to be to identify reliable records confirming the performance of a pressure test or the determination of MAOP based on the historical high operating pressure.” (PG&E Response, page 7 (emphasis added.) (Ed. Note: MAOP = Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure)

PG&E has no legitimate or good-faith basis for the conclusion quoted above in italics. As you well know, the whole purpose of the NTSB’s urgent safety recommendations, and for the Commission’s directive to PG&E, was to find, to the extent possible, a basis for setting maximum allowable operating pressure by means other than the grandfathering method described in PG&E’s response.

By its action , PG&E not only is refusing to comply with the plain terms of the Commission’ s orders and the NTSB’s urgent safety recommendations, but worse, may be placing public safety in jeopardy. This is particularly inexcusable in the wake of the tragedy at San Bruno.

Yesterday, KQED’s Tara Siler interviewed Paul Clanon, and in keeping with the tone of his letter, he sounded, frankly, incredulous at PG&E’s filing, calling it “amazing.”

“I’m amazed to tell you that PG&E, far short of providing complete records…, gave us no records on their grandfathered pipelines,” he said. “Except, for some reason, going back to show us how they set the maximum operating pressure during the grandfathering process back in 1970. That is beside the point, and that tells me that PG&E has not learned the lessons from San Bruno.”

Clanon also said the commission might consider fining PG&E as much as $1 million per day until it is in compliance with the order.

Listen below:

Paul Clanon, Executive Director CPUC, slams PG&E for not providing documentation

When questioned about the CPUC’s PG&E spokesman Joe Molica sent the following response to Tara Siler:

PG&E’s highest priority is the safety of its customers and the communities we serve. PG&E has already reduced pressure by 20 percent on over 190 miles of pipelines. In yesterday’s filing to the Commission, PG&E also outlined an aggressive inspection and field test plan that will raise the bar on safety industry-wide. In 2011, PG&E plans to hydro test or replace approximately 150 miles of pipeline in high consequence areas, and will significantly expand that program in coming years.

While we have made good progress on our records validation, we are not satisfied with the results to date and know we have more work to do. We will continue to search and review our files for the pressure test records and provide the Commission with regular updates on our efforts. PG&E has provided the CPUC with key records for more than 90% of its 1,805 miles of gas transmission pipelines in high-consequence areas. Following the Commission’s January 3, 2011 directive, PG&E mobilized hundreds of employees and external resources to gather, scan, and analyze approximately 1.25 million records. Many of these teams have worked in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PG&E also supports the thoughtful review and enhancement of existing safety standards, including phasing out the use of historic operating pressure to establish MAOP of pipelines in California and nationally.

  • Aaron Brock

    PG & E LIES AND KILLS!!! Indictments need to begin NOW!!!!

    How many more innocent children and their families will die at the hands of PG &E?

    Smart meters are implicated in the fires and deaths of innocent people in the tragic San Bruno Fires.

    Smart meters are NOT UL listed and yet they are installing them 15,000 a day, in spite of 33 counties and cities BANNING dangerous SMart meters!!

    City Council Discovers ‘Smart’ Meters are not UL Certified
    Posted on February 15, 2011 by onthelevelblog

    http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/02/15/city-council-discovers-smart-meters-are-not-ul-certified/

    Underwriters Laboratory Confirms Meters Not Safety Tested, Raising Fire Safety Fears

    Capitola- During a meeting last week in which they joined six other local governments* who have passed laws criminalizing the installation of wireless ‘smart’ meters, the Capitola City Council discovered that the wireless ‘smart’ meters that CA utilities are trying to install are in fact not certified by Underwriters Laboratory, a certification that is required under the state electrical code for all electrical appliances and equipment within the home.The lack of certification was confirmed…..

    SMART METERS EMIT RADIATION 24/7!!! RADIATION IS NOT SAFE!!!

    SMART METERS ARE NOT SAFE!!

    SMART METER RADIATION is FORCED on INNOCENT BABIES, and their families wihtout ANY OPTION-OUT!!

    THIS IS CRIMINAL WARFARE on INNOCENT CUSTOMERS!!

    PG&E EXECUTIVES need to be JAILED!!!!!!

    DEMAND SMART METER REMOVAL AND OPT_OUT IMMEDIATELY!!

    1. INSURANCE COMPANIES WON’T INSURE THE HEALTH PROBLEMS FROM WIRELESS Smart Meters
    And Insurance companies don’t sacrifice insurance premiums ($$$) for nothing.

    TV NEWS VIDEO – Insurance Companies Won’t Insure Wireless Device Health Risks (3 minutes, 13 seconds)
    http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382

    2. WIRELESS SMART METERS TRANSMIT RADIATION APPROXIMATELY 25,000 TIMES PER DAY, 24/7, not 45 seconds per day as claimed by PG&E Corporate.

    VIDEO – Radiation Measured From Smart Meter Mounted On A Home (6 minutes, 21 seconds)

    Radiation Measured From Smart Meter Mounted On A Home (6 minutes, 21 seconds)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRejDxBE6OE

    3. UTILITY BILLS SKYROCKETED AFTER WIRELESS SMART METER INSTALLATION.

    TV NEWS VIDEO -Skyrocketing Utility Bills after smart meter installation (3 minutes, 19 seconds)
    http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/63581287.html?tab=video

    1. Insurance Companies Won’t Insure Wireless Device Risks (3 minutes, 13 seconds)
    http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382

    2. Microwave radiation dangers in our home (6 minutes, 20 seconds)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAnrmJ3un1g

    3. Truth about Smart Meters – Dr. Karl Maret, MD, Biomedical Engineer
    (Dr. Maret’s presentation begins at 23:40 on the video telecast).
    http://www.communitytv.org/programs/online/truth-about-smart-meters

    6. Wounded by Wireless Smart Meters (14 minutes, 19 seconds)

    http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=840

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor