Using “numerous execption reports,” PG&E has been able to put-off inspecting potentially faulty or flawed welds and pipes. This comes only months after the disaster, and over the quiet protests of the California Public Utility Commission.
In a series of reports released on Wednesday, the CPUC also claims that PG&E is using ineffective means to find flaws. One section of pipe, stretching to Napa and Sonoma Counties, is suspected of having flaws in its welds.
But PG&E isn’t the only one receiving blame in the shadow of these reports. Even the CPUC is on the receiving end of the criticisms. Some are claiming that the Commission is not exercising enough authority in forcing the inspections to move ahead.
This isn’t the only issue between the CPUC and PG&E. The two are doing quiet battles over the installation of SmartMeter.
From the Bay Area News Group:
Less than two months after the poorly welded San Bruno natural gas line erupted catastrophically on Sept. 9, PG&E was putting off inspections that could spot similar defects on several of its gas lines, including one near Santa Rosa where the pipe was known to have numerous welding “anomalies,” according to state reports released Wednesday.
Several documents dated Oct. 21, 2010, which were made public by the California Public Utilities Commission, describe instances where the state agency’s inspectors criticized PG&E for delaying scheduled pipeline inspections. The agency also faulted the utility for rescheduling some pipe inspections using a method that is widely considered ineffective at spotting welding flaws.
For one particularly worrisome portion of pipe, line 21-E, which supplies gas to Sonoma and Napa counties, PG&E filed “numerous exception reports” from Aug. 8, 2007, through May 12, 2010, seeking to put off scheduled inspections. That prompted the agency to declare that “PG&E appears to be diluting the requirements” of its own program for managing the integrity of its pipes “instead of allocating sufficient resources necessary to carry out and complete assessments in a timely manner.”
Read the full article here.