A California gas utility has been indicted on 12 federal criminal counts related to the 2010 gas pipeline explosion that leveled a neighborhood and killed eight people, according to an article on SFGate.com.
The indictment says Pacific Gas and Electric Co. repeatedly violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act, which mandates that operators maintain accurate records about their gas pipes, identify risks to lines and inspect or test when pipe pressures exceed the legal maximum.
“Rather than follow the law, PG&E ‘knowingly relied on erroneous and incomplete information’ in avoiding the type of inspections that could have exposed a badly manufactured seam weld on the gas transmission line and saved San Bruno from disaster, the indictment says,” SFGate.com reported.
“In the 54 years that the weld lurked in the ground beneath the city, PG&E never conducted an inspection that could have detected it. In part, that was because it lost records that showed the most basic characteristics of the pipe, including whether it had seams,” the article states.
A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted PG&E on one count of failing to maintain proper records on its system of more than 6,000 miles of gas-transmission lines in Northern and Central California. Nine of the 12 counts deal with over-pressurization incidents and PG&E’s alleged failure to deal with them properly on three pipelines, including the one that exploded in San Bruno.
The remaining two counts accuse PG&E of failing to identify risks to its pipelines and develop plans to deal with them.
To read the SFGate.com article, click here.