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How Well Maintained Are SD County Gas Pipelines?

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THE GAS EXPLOSION AND FIRE THAT ROCKED A SAN FRANSISCO SUBURB LAST WEEK WAS A SOLEMN REMINDER OF THE DANGERS SURROUNDING A NATURAL RESOURCE WE ALL RELY UPON. JOINING ME TO DISCUSS THE NATURAL GAS PIPELINES AND WHAT SG&E IS DOING TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING HERE IS BRETT LANE. WELCOME. THANK YOU. YOU'RE WITH SOUTHERN GAS. WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SG&E? I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GAS NEEDS FOR BOTH COMPANIES. PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED. OF THE NATURE THAT WE SAW WITH THE TRAGEDY LAST WEEK, THEY'VE BECOME VERY RARE. I THINK THE NTSB ACTUALLY RELEASED A GRAPH A FEW DAYS AFTER THE INCIDENT THAT REALLY DOES SHOW THE DECLINE IN THE NATURE OF THESE TYPES OF INCIDENTS. IT SEEMS TO ME RECENTLY WE'VE HEARD OF SO MANY, ONE OUT IN EL CAJON AND ONE YESTERDAY I THINK IN LA JOLLA WAS REPORTED. SO NORTH PARK HAD ONE. I DON'T KNOW. JUST SEEMS AS THOUGH THERE ARE MORE INCIDENTS. TO GIVE YOU A QUICK SENSE OF --WE REALLY ENCOURAGE THE CUSTOMERS AND THE PUBLIC IF THEY SMELL GAS TO GIVE US A CALL AT STG&E FOR SAN DIEGO. WE'LL SEND ONE OF OUR TECHNICIANS OUT WITH A INSTRUMENT TO SEE IF THEY CAN DETECT GAS. SO AS AN EXAMPLE OF THOSE THAT WE HAD YESTERDAY, WE DID HAVE SOME REPORTS WHERE WE DID NOT FIND ANY LEAKAGE OCCURRING. WE DID HAVE I THINK THE MAJORITY OF THOSE THAT WERE HIT YESTERDAY WERE ACTUALLY THIRD PARTY DAMAGE. BY FAR THE GREATEST DAMAGE WE HAVE TO OUR PIPELINE SYSTEMS FOR BOTH COMPANIES AND THIS STATISTIC IS PRETTY --IT HOLDS WELL NATIONALLY IS FROM THIRD PARTIES. THIS WOULD BE AS SIMPLE AS A HOMEOWNER DECIDING TO DIG AND INSTALL A NEW FENCE IN THEIR YARD TO A CONTRACTOR WORKING IN THE STREET. TO A TRUCK HITTING A GAS METER. YES. BUT WHAT DOES STG&E DO TO MAINTAIN THE PIPELINES AND MONITOR THINGS LIKE CORROSION? MANY LINES ARE OLD, AREN'T THEY? YES THEY ARE VINTAGE 1950s AND 60s. BUT THE ONE THING WE POINT OUT IS AGE ISN'T A DETERMINING FACTOR FOR THESE LINES. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE PROPER MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION. WE ARE REGULATED BOTH AT THE STATE AND FEDERAL LEVEL. WE HAVE SOME SYSTEMATIC CONTROLS. WE DO THIS ANNUAL OR SEMIANNUAL DEPENDING ON THE AREA. ONE PRIME PURPOSE OF IT IS TO HAVE EYES ON THE GROUND. WE'RE ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR CONSTRUCTION THAT WE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF. THERE HAS BEEN SOME CRITICISM LEVELED THAT MAYBE THERE'S TOO MUCH INSPECTION. IT'S BEING CALLED GOLD PLATED BY THE UTILITIES CONSUMER ACTION NETWORK. MAYBE YOU'RE INSPECTING TOO MUCH. MAYBE IT'S COSTING THE RATE PAYERS A LITTLE TOO MUCH FOR ALL THE INSPECTIONS. I HAVE HEARD THAT COMMENT RECENTLY. I WOULD RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE. WE TAKE OUR ROLE AS PRUDENT OPERATOR WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE DEFINED AS VERY SERIOUSLY. TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE ADEQUATE INSPECTIONS. WHAT WE DO IS COMPLY WITH BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL STANDARDS. HAVE YOU BEEN IN TOUCH WITH PG&E TO FIND OUT WHAT THE CAUSE OF THEIR EXPLOSION WAS? WE'VE OFFERED SUPPORT. BUT AS WE CAN ALL UNDERSTAND THERE, I'M SURE THEY'RE VERY BUSY AT THIS TIME. WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU. THEY HAVE PROVIDED SIGNS TO LOOK FOR IF YOU SUSPECT A GAS LEAK. THEY ARE AN UNPLEASANT SMELL, A HISSING OR ROARING SOUND, A GROUND FIRE, OR DEAD OR DYING VEGETATION. DO NOT RELY ON SMELL ALONE. AND STAY CALM AND DON'T LIGHT A MATCH OR TURN ON ELECTRICAL DEVICES. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.

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