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City Looks to Enlist Outside Help to Inspect Pipeline Work

The City Council will be taking a vote at its Tuesday meeting whether to hire a Houston-based firm to oversee any additional pipeline work PG&E plans in the city.

As PG&E continues to throughout the state to make sure another San Bruno disaster doesn’t happen anywhere else, the city is looking to make plans of its own to double-check the pipelines in San Bruno. 

The City Council will be on whether to hire a firm that would provide additional oversight for anymore pipeline work that PG&E would do in and around the city, especially as it relates to Line 132, the pipeline that exploded in the Crestmoor neighborhood and has now been decommissioned in the area. 

According to a city staff report, the additional oversight from Integrity Maintenance Solutions-Americas would provide more accountability for PG&E and prevent episodes such as what happened in July when that was released when a PG&E crew was inspecting an abandoned section of pipeline in the Crestmoor neighborhood. The report didn't say whether the firm would be asked to provide oversight for the two other gas transmission lines that run through the city.

“Without unbiased technical pipeline expertise at its disposal, the City would be unable to ensure that the interests of San Bruno residents will fully be considered during pipeline abandonment, construction and testing,” the staff report stated. 

More than a year after the Sept. 9, 2010, fire, construction continues in the neighborhood as residents rebuild their homes. But many still have concerns about the pipeline work being done in and near the neighborhood, which is why the city says the firm’s help is needed. 

Although PG&E already has , it has yet to remove the section that runs through the neighborhood. Many residents have said they won’t get full closure until the pipeline is completely removed. So the city has promised to make sure the line gets fully removed during the reconstruction of the neighborhood. 

If the council agreed to hire Houston-based Integrity Maintenance Solutions-Americas, then the firm would be paid through the trust fund PG&E created for the city. 

In addition to the vote, the city will be formally swearing in the three incumbents— Mayor Jim Ruane, Vice Mayor Michael Salazar and Councilwoman Irene O’Connell—who . 

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