PG&E President Christopher P. Johns says that the 30-inch, long-haul natural gas pipeline that goes under San Bruno will be rerouted. That’s the news of the day from the office of Senator Leland Yee. Details below.
[UPDATE 10:45 AM: Then there's this from The Bay Citizen, which is saying the commitment level of PG&E is less than 100%...]
[UPDATE 11:09 AM: Leland's people are adamant that there is a 100% commitment from PG&E to get that pipeline out of that neighborhood in San Bruno. Here's the latest: "Sen. Yee: PG&E made a commitment to move the pipeline and we will hold them accountable to the commitment and work with them to get approval."]
A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu
“Gas Pipeline to be Moved Out of San Bruno Neighborhood. At the urging of Senator, Mayor, and Families, PG&E Commits to Finding New Pipeline Location
SAN BRUNO – PG&E President Chris Johns has committed to moving the gas pipeline that ruptured on September 9 out of the San Bruno neighborhood, according Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane. Yee and Ruane, as well as several of the families impacted by the explosion, had requested that PG&E find a more suitable location.
“These families deserve an opportunity to rebuild without the possibility of this ever happening again,” said Yee. “The only way these families can recover is to move the pipeline out of their neighborhood. I look forward to working with Mayor Ruane – who has done an extraordinary job in leading his city during this difficult time – to find a more appropriate location.”
“We simply can not rebuild the neighborhood as long as that pipeline exists in its current location,” said Ruane. “Our families will not live there under those conditions and our city will never be able to heal.”
Johns made the commitment to relocate the pipeline yesterday while meeting with Ruane. Today, Yee and Ruane will meet with PG&E officials to begin the process of finding alternative locations for the pipeline.
“There are several competing interests in finding the appropriate location, but surely there must be a better place than through the middle of a residential neighborhood,” said Yee. “I am confident we can come together as a community and get this done right.”
Earlier this week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) signed into law a bill first introduced by Yee to provide disaster relief for the affected families of the San Bruno fires and to assist the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools.
Specifically, the bill allows a continuation of the $7,000 property tax exemption for homeowners who would have qualified for the exemption if their home had not been damaged or destroyed. In addition, the bill allows taxpayers (personal and business) to deduct income loss as result of the incident. Finally, the bill includes assistance to the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools by providing a one-year reimbursement from the State for any tax losses related to the lower property assessments of damaged or destroyed homes.
Following an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a responsible party determined, the responsible entity would then have to pay back the state for the cost of the tax relief provided for in the legislation.