PG&E will complete tests in April to verify that all of its natural gas pipelines are operating safely, the utility said Tuesday.

San Francisco-based PG&E says it is on track to complete its validation and tests for maximum allowable pressure in its gas pipelines by the end of April. The testing and verifications were recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board in the wake of a lethal gas explosion in San Bruno in September 2010.

"Our employees continue to work hard every day to make our natural gas system the safest in the nation," said Nick Stavropoulos, executive vice president of PG&E's gas operations. "We still have work to do to achieve our ambitious goal, but the change that is underway is real and measurable."

The tests and validations for maximum pressure in its natural gas system was undertaken on 6,000 miles of gas pipelines, said Brittany Chord, a spokeswoman for PG&E.

PG&E also has developed new procedures for undertaking work on the gas transmission system, and has upgraded its public awareness plan for natural gas safety.

Including the three most recently accomplished tasks, the utility now has completed seven of 12 safety recommendations issued by the NTSB, PG&E said.

PG&E also is building a state-of-the-art natural gas control center in San Ramon that will become the nerve center of the utility's gas operations when the complex opens in the Bishop Ranch business park.


Advertisement

"We are making real progress that can be seen and felt by our customers, employees and regulators," Stavropoulos said.

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.