Posts Tagged ‘City Manager’

San Bruno vs. San Carlos: Incompetent “PG&E Welcomes Opportunity To Demonstrate Safety Of Line 147″

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

So let’s see here. According to PG&E, it doesn’t have to listen to any judges telling it to shut down any pipelines, no matter how dangerous the pipeline is and no matter how reckless PG&E employees and contractors behave.

In the words of John Malkovich, “WTF to that.”

You see, PG&E prefers to be regulated by the lapdog CPUC.

All right, here’s the latest, from PG&E’s point of view, just released:

“PG&E Welcomes Opportunity To Demonstrate Safety Of Line 147

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2013 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today said it welcomes the opportunity to continue its work with the California Public Utilities Commission and San Mateo County communities to validate that the company has completed, as represented, safety-related work on transmission Line 147.

“We want to be a good neighbor to San Mateo County communities. Customers in these communities can be assured that Line 147 is safe and we look forward to the opportunity to document all the work that has gone into maintaining and operating this line safely. It is important that this validation be completed on an expedited basis because Line 147 is even more critical to our system once colder weather comes our way. We don’t want to be in a position of being unable to serve our customers because the pipeline is out of service,” said Nick Stavropoulos, the executive vice president responsible for leading the PG&E gas organization since June 2011.

PG&E on Friday was ordered by a San Mateo Superior Court to cease service to Line 147 after the City of San Carlos questioned the pipe’s safety.  The company complied with the order and today said it does not intend to return the line to service pending a review by the CPUC. However, the company today asked the Court to vacate the temporary injunction because it lacked the jurisdiction to make such a ruling.  In California, exclusive jurisdiction is given to the California Public Utilities Commission in order to avoid a patchwork of conflicting local standards and regulations.

Background

What is Line 147 and where is it located?

Line 147 consists of a 20-inch and 24-inch gas pipeline that runs for 3.8 miles between Highways 101 and 280 along Brittan Avenue in San Carlos (PG&E Gas Transmission Pipelines). Line 147 plays an important role in PG&E’s ability to safely and reliably serve more than 650,000 customers on the Peninsula. Line 147 is a cross-tie, connecting Line 101 on the eastern side of the Peninsula to Lines 109 and 132 that are centrally located on the Peninsula. Lines 101, 109 and 132 run south to north from Milpitas Terminal in Santa Clara County to PG&E’s San Francisco Gas Load Center.

What measures has PG&E taken to ensure the safe operation of Line 147?
Our work on Line 147 has included verifying records and pressurizing the line with high-pressure water to confirm its integrity. PG&E employees – on foot and in the air – have regularly checked this line, and all of PG&E’s lines, for leaks.

Following the San Bruno accident in September 2010, PG&E lowered the operating pressure on many pipelines – including Line 147 – as an interim safety measure. In addition, after the San Bruno accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended hydrostatic testing for pipelines that were previously not subject to a pressure test – a process whereby water is put into the line at nearly double, if not more, the pressure that the gas typically reaches – be performed across all gas utilities in the nation.

In October of 2011, Line 147 was hydrostatically tested, and passed. Because of this successful pressure test, PG&E asked the CPUC to allow it to restore the line’s operating pressure. This request included a large volume of documentation and evidence supporting this restoration of pressure.

After receiving approval from the CPUC, PG&E increased the operating pressure on Line 147 as necessary to meet winter load, but kept the operating pressure below the approved Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP). On May 24, 2012, after the winter months, PG&E again reduced the operating pressure on Line 147.

Additional measures taken to ensure safe operation of Line 147
In addition to the pressure test, PG&E has taken extensive actions since 2010 to ensure the continued safe operation of Line 147. These have included:

–  MAOP Validation: Using its Pipeline Features List, PG&E conducted a
systematic evaluation of the characteristics of Line 147 to validate the
MAOP of each pipeline component.

    —  Integrity Assessment: PG&E has completed baseline assessments for the
portions of Line 147 that are in densely populated areas, by performing
External Corrosion Direct Assessments in 2004 and/or 2009.
    —  Valve Replacement: A new 20-inch valve was installed on Line 147 near
Brittan Avenue in 2011 to allow PG&E to quickly stop the flow of gas and
isolate the line if necessary.
    —  Regular Maintenance:
–  Leak Surveys: All of Line147 was surveyed in April 2013. PG&E
continues to survey Line 147 for leaks on a regular basis.
—  Ground and Aerial Patrols: PG&E has conducted ground patrols of Line
147 in each of the first eight months of 2013 as well as in November
and December of 2012. During these patrols, PG&E gas employees walk
or drive the line to check for any leaks. PG&E also has conducted
aerial patrols on Line 147 every month from December 2012 to date,
except for February 2013. PG&E continues to patrol and monitor these
lines and records observations of any potential threats to the
integrity of the lines.
—  Anti-Corrosion Measures: Line 147 is equipped with cathodic
protection (CP), a system to safeguard against pipeline corrosion.
PG&E inspects its CP systems using pipe-to-soil reads, and annual
rectifier inspections. This electrical device impresses current on
the pipeline, which is a critical part of the corrosion control
system. PG&E continues to perform CP pipe-to-soil inspections on
Line 147 every other month.
A leak was discovered as part of routine work

In October 2012, as PG&E continued other work to improve the safety of its system, a leak was found on Line 147. At the same time, the company discovered discrepancies in the information that was originally submitted to support the pipeline’s MAOP.

As part of PG&E’s due diligence into the leak, a contractor raised questions about Line 147 in an email. That’s exactly what we encourage our people to do: raise any concerns about safety. All of the issues raised by the individual were seriously discussed.

PG&E also removed the section of pipe that leaked to confirm its mechanical and metallurgical properties via laboratory work, including a root cause analysis of the leak itself. That report concluded the leak was on base metal, not on a girth weld or the long seam weld and, importantly, that “no evidence of crack growth during service or hydro testing was detected.”

The results of this metallurgical test, the results of the 2011 hydrostatic pressure tests, and other steps PG&E has taken to ensure the integrity of its system, confirm that Line 147 is safe.

To learn more about PG&E’s commitment to pipeline safety, please visit www.pge.com/pipelinesafety.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit: http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

CONTACT: PG&E External Communications - (415) 973-5930

Web Site: http://www.pge-corp.com

Horrible PG&E Offers Up Excuses for Dragging Its Feet Shutting the Pipeline It Was Just Ordered to Shut Down

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Sometimes it seems like PG&E is 100% run by MBAs. Anyway. here’s the latest in the ongoing San Carlos, CA fiasco:

“Pipeline Is Safe, PG&E Tells San Carlos Customers. Utility is taking steps to be able to safely and effectively shut off service to San Carlos pipeline in compliance with Superior Court order

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5, 2013 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) today said customers in San Carlos, Calif., can be assured that a natural gas transmission pipeline in their community is being operated in a completely safe manner.”

Gee, PG&E, wasn’t that what you said before about the natural gas pipeline in the San Bruno community before your negligence killed eight people in 2010? Do you think it’s a common thing for utility to kill eight people at a time? Your assurances mean nothing, PG&E.

In addition, PG&E said that despite the line being operated safely, the company is taking steps to be able to safely and effectively shut off service to the pipeline in compliance with an October 4 temporary injunction order by the San Mateo Superior Court. PG&E expects to be in a position to shut off service as early as Monday or Tuesday. The plan must account for a number of important safety and customer impacts associated with shutting off service.

What’s all this “PGE said” crap? Aren’t you PG&E? So why don’t you just come out and make the claim to the world, instead of to the people of San Carlos? What’s the angle here? Anyway, this graf here sounds like you’re sassing the judge, doesn’t it? Like, despite some judge going stark raving bonkers, we’re going to do what the judge ordered us to do, eventually. And you’re not ready to shut the pipeline down now? You have to “take steps” first? OK  fine.

“We are working diligently to comply with the court order to safely and effectively shut off service to the pipeline. However, in the meantime, I want all customers to know that this pipeline has been demonstrated to be safe using the leading and most universally accepted standard for assessing the integrity of operating pipelines. Under no circumstances would we operate this pipeline in an unsafe condition and any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong,” said Nick Stavropoulos, the executive vice president with responsibility for all PG&E gas operations since June 2011.

Yet a PG&E engineer asked, “Are We Sitting on a San Bruno Situation? Right? What about that, EVP Nick?

PG&E is responding to the court order by developing a plan to shut down the pipeline in a safe and effective fashion as quickly as possible.  The company noted that work is presently being conducted on Line 101 on the Peninsula – the pipeline stretches from South San Francisco to San Jose. This work must be completed before Line 147 can be taken out of service in order to avoid posing an unreasonable risk of loss of service to other customers.   In addition, the company is completing an assessment of gas service impact to customers in the San Carlos community, which will be taken into account as the company’s analysis concludes by Monday.

Uh, PG&E? “Safely” means to not kill any more people. “Effectively” means shutting down Line 147 100%. That’s it. Obviously this isn’t going to be convenient for you but aren’t you worried about being in contempt?

“To ensure safe operations on Line 147 in San Carlos, PG&E conducted hydrostatic pressure testing on the line in September 2011 to validate the safe operating pressure. Hydrostatic pressure testing, including a spike test, is widely considered among state and federal regulators the leading industry standard to ensure the safe operation of a gas transmission pipeline. In addition, a third party consulting firm conducted independent metallurgical testing after further questions were raised about the pipeline by a company employee. PG&E is requesting that San Carlos officials consult with state and federal pipeline safety officials to validate the actions taken by PG&E on Line 147. To learn more about PG&E’s commitment to pipeline safety, please visit www.pge.com/pipelinesafety.”

Blah blah blah. Hey PG&E! Why don’t you just shut down the fucking line now before you kill any more people?

All right, play us out of here, you incompetent boobs:

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit:  http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE  PG&E

PG&E

CONTACT: PG&E External Communications - (415) 973-5930

Web Site: http://www.pge-corp.com

PG&E Delivers a Big FU to Superior Court Judge George Miram – PG&E Engineer: “Are We Sitting on a San Bruno Situation?”

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Isn’t it special when America’s worst large utility starts talking smack about pipelines and safety?

Yes it is.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee* might be in the pocket of PG&E, but not the authoritahs down San Carlos way.

How refreshing.

Here’s the latest:

“10/5/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - PRESS RELEASE #10052013
Subject :

City Activates Limited Emergency Operations Center
Responds to State of Emergency
Contact : Jeff Maltbie, City Manager, City Manager (650) 802-4228
jmaltbie@cityofsancarlos.org
Greg Rubens, City Attorney, City Attorney (650) 593-3117×202
grubens@adcl.com

SAN CARLOS, CA, October 5, 2013 – At 11:30am on Saturday, October 4, 2013, the City of San Carlos activated the Emergency Operations Center in a limited capacity.

At 12:00pm today, the City Manager, City Attorney, San Carlos Police and Fire Departments, and Public Works met via conference call with representatives from PG&E Gas Operations, and State and County Office of Emergency Services, to discuss the current status of Natural Gas Transmission Line 147. Line 147 is a 20″ pipe that is 3.8 miles long and runs from the Interstate 280 corridor, through San Carlos, to the Highway 101 corridor, primarily down Brittan Avenue. The City estimates that some 5000 plus residents live near the transmission line.

Thursday, the City learned that some engineers within PG&E had stated in emails that line 147 may have been structurally compromised by pressure testing that the company permitted in 2011. The City requested PG&E voluntarily shut down line 147, until such time as a neutral third party could examine the data and evidence establishing the current physical condition of the pipe, and its safety. PG&E declined to shut down line 147, and the City was forced to seek an injunction to shut down the line. The injunction was obtained just before 5:00pm Friday.

As of the conclusion of today’s 12:00pm conference call with PG&E, company representatives confirmed that they continue to operate line 147 despite the existence of the injunction, but are analyzing the alleged impacts of shutting down the line. The analysis, according to PG&E, will be concluded by Monday morning, October 7, 2013. Mayor Bob Grassilli responded, stating this timeline is not at all satisfactory. “How can a company which claims safety is their top priority continue to ignore a court order issued to protect the public? It’s 80 degrees outside, PG&E customers in the Bay Area aren’t going to be without gas if line 147 were shut down. They shut down the line for several months in 2011 without impacting customers.” City Manager Jeff Maltbie reiterated for the residents of San Carlos that the City has no reason to believe physical conditions of the pipe have changed in the last few days. He stated, “We’ve declared a state of emergency and obtained a court order because we believe PG&E has incomplete and contradictory information about the safety status and physical make up of line 147. We believe PG&E has a responsibility to our community to shut the line down until they can show the public it’s safe.”

Vice Mayor Mark Olbert stated, “ Our residents deserve to live in their own homes without fear of a pipe line explosion. We are asking that the line be shut down until such time as PG&E can prove to the public in front of the CPUC that line 147 is safe and they know what they have in the ground here in San Carlos.”

*For various reasons. One of them is that he’s enamored by a PG&E lobbyist

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Brings It to Bell, CA – Establishes Voter Fraud Hotline

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Our California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide political cabals taking over California towns, towns like notorious Bell, CA. So he’s doing something about it today.

Take a look, below. Seems like a good start.

El Protector de la Gente, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk

All the deets:

Brown Expands Bell Probe and Establishes Hotline for Voting Fraud Complaints

LOS ANGELES — Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. subpoenaed personal financial records of present and former officials involved in the City of Bell salary scandal today and ordered them to appear for depositions to be taken under oath within two weeks.

Brown also announced that his office has set up a toll-free telephone hotline for citizens to report allegations of possible illegal election conduct by Bell officials.

“My office has received several reports from residents of Bell indicating that city officials encouraged them to fill out absentee ballots and then collected the ballots,” Brown said. “We have seen similar reports in the Los Angeles Times. If these allegations are true, this could be a serious violation of state law.”

California law requires that absentee ballots must be mailed or brought to a polling place by the voter unless the voter is disabled or ill.

In the case of Bell, it appears as though improper procedures may have been followed by public officials in the very election that allowed the city to give out these outrageous salaries. If so, there may be grounds to seek additional civil or even criminal penalties.

“When city employees of a tiny suburb of L.A. make as much as or nearly double the salary of the President of the United States, things are out of control,” Brown said.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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