The proposed decision today (Oct. 12) by a California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge that cuts the requested funding for the utility’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan is “wholly inadequate,” PG&E says.
“The proposed decision by the ALJ is wholly inadequate and fails to recognize the magnitude of the work that’s required to create a modern gas transmission system that reaches new safety standards and serves the people of California,” said Tom Bottorff, PG&E’s senior vice president of regulatory affairs.
“When this comes before the entire Commission, we’re hopeful that they will consider the ramifications of this work and its critical importance to California,” he said.
In August 2011, PG&E submitted its $2.2 billion Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan to the CPUC. It is a comprehensive, multi-year approach to modernize the company’s natural gas transmission system to meet stringent new safety standards.
The ALJ’s proposed decision only approved 36 percent of the plan’s expenditures from 2012 to 2014.
“Our proposed plan was designed to be as economical as possible while delivering a much higher level of public safety for decades to come,” Bottorff said. “PG&E remains committed to getting this necessary work completed.”
The proposed plan would run through 2014 and include the following work:
- Strength testing about 780 miles of pipeline segments
- Replacing about 185 miles of pipeline segments
- Making about 200 miles of pipeline segments “piggable,” in which an inline inspection tool known as a pig is inserted into a pipeline to gather detailed information
- Automating 228 valves
- Validating maximum allowable operating pressure for all transmission pipeline in the system
- Improving the asset management system for pipeline records