Tuesday, November 30, 2010

California PUC faults PG&E in 2008 Rancho Cordova pipeline blast

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - State investigators have concluded that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. should have discovered a faulty repair job that led to a fatal gas-pipeline explosion near Sacramento two years ago, a finding that could result in fines against the utility.
The explosion on Christmas Eve 2008 outside a home in Rancho Cordova
(Sacramento County) killed a 72-year-old neighborhood resident.
Federal investigators later found that PG&E had installed substandard pipe in a 2006 repair job outside the home, and that it had sent out an untrained worker in response to a reported gas smell shortly before the explosion.
The worker failed to find the leak that later caused the explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
On Nov. 19, the state Public Utilities Commission filed administrative charges against PG&E alleging that the utility discovered in October 2006 that substandard pipe had been used in a nearby repair in Sacramento.

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