PG&E refusing to confirm pipeline move

October 22, 2010 7:27:57 PM PDT
The gas pipeline that exploded in San Bruno last month and killed eight people may be relocated. But the process has PG&E choosing its words very carefully.

Showers have left a puddle in the trench where pipeline 132 exploded and decimated San Bruno's Glenview neighborhood.

After two days of meeting with city leaders and other elected officials, San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane says PG&E's president made a commitment to relocate that pipeline.

"Mr. Johns made the commitment to me on behalf of PG&E that he did not want that pipe reconnected through the Glenview neighborhood and that PG&E would do everything to find another location," he said.

However, PG&E spokesman Matt Nauman phrased it differently.

"We are committed to working with the city, and working with our state and federal leaders to look at all available options," he said.

PG&E'S less than definitive wording concerns residents living near the existing route.

"We don't want to believe anything until we have confirmation from PG&E that yes, they're not going to start that pipe back up," San Bruno resident Kathy DeRenzi said.

Bob Pellegrini, who lost his house in the fire, was more encouraged. He and his wife have been talking to an architect and builder, but wanted assurances the pipeline won't be re-connected.

"This is definitely promising, and this will definitely make us go to the next level in starting in getting the process started," he said.

PG&E Told lawmakers they are starting to study alternate paths and any plans will require environmental review and regulatory approval.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, attended Friday's meeting WITH PG&E.

"PG&E has to make a definite statement about shutting down that pipe permanently, and they're not in a position to do that yet because it's a matter where do you put it," she said.

The one thing that is lacking is a definitive timeline -- how long will it take PG&E to find an alternate route and how long will it take to get final approval.


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