PG&E has released its list of top 100 gas pipeline trouble spots, including two in San Jose and a total of eleven in Silicon Valley. A second list, also released yesterday, consists of 100 additional segments that are being monitored for problems. To ease concerns, they have also set up a hotline where customers can call to find out whether they live within 500 feet of potentially problematic pipelines.  The hotline number is 1-888-743-7431.

Four factors are taken into consideration for inclusion in the list
• The potential for third-party damage like dig-ins for construction;
• The potential for corrosion;
• The potential for ground movement; and
• The physical design and characteristics of the pipe segment.
The problem in the North San Jose section, located between Milpitas and Crystal Springs Reservoir, is being inspected for potential hazards caused by ground movement.  A second section nearby, on Ranch Drive, is being targeted for a similar inspection. In contrast, a section in Stanford is being monitored following improvements made to the pipeline to protect it from corrosion.

Representatives from San Jose will be meeting with PG&E this Thursday to discuss further steps to protect residents from potential hazards. At the meeting, Mayor Chuck Reed will likely raise his concerns that the list did not provide adequate information for him to tell local residents exactly where the pipeline runs and what steps they might take to ensure their safety. He also wants to expedite the repair process. “Let’s get them fixed. What are we waiting for?” he said. Of particular concern is a stretch of land between Nicholson Lane and North First, where there are large numbers of mobile homes.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill of San Bruno was less enthusiastic about the list, and noted that the pipeline that exploded in his city earlier this month was not on last year’s list of hot spots. He called the information “inadequate,” and gave examples of PG&E “changing its story” about pipeline hazards in San Franciso. PG&E claims that its lists are constantly revised to reflect changing factors.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.
Read More at The Mercury News.