PG&E Statement on March 3 NTSB Hearings

Mar 03, 2011, 09:21 ET from Pacific Gas and Electric Company

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today issued the following statement in advance of the third day of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hearings:

This week's NTSB hearings are important for PG&E and the industry as we seek to apply the most effective and advanced technologies to better serve our customers and enhance the safety of communities we serve. PG&E is committed to learning everything it can from the San Bruno tragedy and is evaluating all aspects of its gas transmission business.

Technology is at the core of these efforts. That is why PG&E is investing in efforts to advance in-line inspection technology, apply new diagnostic tools, and develop state-of-the-art records digitization procedures.

PG&E is preparing to apply developments in "pigging" that are now becoming available to enable inspection of multiple diameter pipes. The company is working with others to develop and employ an untethered remote control device with a high-definition camera that will be capable of inspecting pipelines with varying diameters without taking the pipeline out of service, thereby avoiding many potential customer impacts.

In addition, through the Pipeline 2020 Program, PG&E has donated $10 million to foster the creation of a new independent, non-profit foundation to research and develop the pipeline inspection and diagnostic tools of the future. This organization will work with other industry partners, leading institutions and researchers with the expertise to make significant advances in pipeline safety.

While PG&E continues to learn from the San Bruno tragedy, the company is immediately implementing policies, technologies, tools and procedures needed to become the industry leader in gas safety. Key to this effort is benchmarking best practices and technologies throughout the industry. The company will share its findings and learnings with pipeline operators throughout the country through industry associations and technical forums.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company