PG&E preps for pipeline checks
and JASON DEAREN and TERRY COLLINS
After the California Public Utilities Commission ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to inspect all their natural gas lines in the state, the company is preparing to mobilize.
“We’re still working with the CPUC to schedule the timing of the inspections,” said PG&E spokesman Matt Nauman.
The order came Sunday, two days after a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, destroying part of a neighborhood and killing several people just south of San Francisco.
Inspections may take place on foot, on air patrols or even within the pipelines themselves, Nauman said.
Specific directives “will really come from CPUC,” he said. “They’ll be sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, federal investigators were probing why the line ruptured and exploded, the Associated Press reported.
The remains of at least four people have been found in the wreckage, and authorities have said four others were missing and at least 60 were injured, some critically, the AP reported.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Monday it was establishing a $100 million fund for victims of the explosion, which left at least four people dead and destroyed 37 homes.
The money was intended to help victims meet their day-to-day needs and would be provided with no strings attached, Chris Johns, president of PG&E, told the AP.
“It is very important that this community know that there are funds – enough funds – to be able to rebuild,” Johns said.
The announcement came shortly after residents of homes destroyed or badly damaged in the blast left a private meeting with PG&E and San Bruno city officials. The residents were told they would be receiving checks for as much as $50,000 this week to get back on their feet, said Bob Pellegrini, 48, whose home was leveled.
The checks would not preclude residents from taking further legal action against PG&E, Pellegrini said.
“The check is nice, but that’s not what I need. I need a permanent home, a nice, safe place to live,” said Bill Magoolaghan, 46, who also lost his house.
The mood at the meeting was somber, especially when some attendees pressed officials to identify remains found in the damaged homes, Magoolaghan said. People who asked those questions were taken to a separate room by police.
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