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Hill to Introduce 3 New Bills Aimed at Pipeline Safety

Assemblyman Jerry Hill is proposing the legislation in response to the 2010 gas transmission pipeline explosion in San Bruno and last year's gas distribution pipeline explosion in a Cupertino condominium complex.

Assemblyman Jerry Hill is expected to introduce three new pipeline safety bills in response to the Sept. 9, 2010, pipeline explosion, and he is planning on discussing them at a Monday morning news conference.

Hill, D-San Mateo, has already introduced a pipeline safety bill, AB 56, which was passed into law last year and will, among other things, require utilities such as PG&E to install remote or automatic shutoff valves. Hill proposed the bill because it took PG&E nearly 90 minutes to shut off the manual valves on Line 132, the pipeline that exploded in the Crestmoor neighborhood.

On Monday, Hill plans to propose three new bills, one of which is in response to last year's Cupertino condominium complex explosion, in front of the California Public Utilities Commission headquarters in San Francisco:

  • AB 578, which would require the CPUC and gas utility companies to implement the following the San Bruno fire;
  • AB 1197, which would mandate that the CPUC establish a “whistleblower” protection program for utility employees who disclose publicly safety threats; and
  • AB 1456, which would require the CPUC to consider the safety performance of utilities in determining gas rates that they will be allowed to charge customers. 

Hill proposed AB 1456 before, but it was stalled in the Legislature. However, he said he has vowed to reintroduce the bill every year until it becomes law.

The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. at 505 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco.

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