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Information on Natural Gas Pipeline Safety

On September 9, 2010, a 30-inch Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) natural gas transmission pipeline in San Bruno ruptured, claiming the lives of eight residents, injuring numerous others, and destroying many homes.

As the state agency charged with overseeing the operation of the state’s utilities, the CPUC is taking numerous steps to ensure public safety in the immediate and longer-term. 

Below you will find information on three pipeline safety proceedings the CPUC has underway and additional resources on pipeline safety. At right, see the most recent updates on the proceedings and related pipeline safety matters.

March 13, 2015: CPUC President Proposes $1.6 Billion in Remedies in PG&E Pipeline Cases, Increasing Penalty Amount by $200 Million and Directing $850 Million to Shareholder-Funded Safety Improvements


June 5, 2013: Safety and Enforcement Division Reply Brief

September 24, 2014: Ex Parte rules expanded in PG&E pipeline penalty consideration cases

June 3, 2013: CPUC Letter to NTSB on Progress Made in Addressing Safety Recommendations

May 7, 2012: Gas Pipeline Safety Update

Feb. 13, 2012: Gas Pipeline Safety Update

Jan. 2012: Overview of CPUC Actions in Response to NTSB and Independent Review Panel Recommendations


Setting New Rules for Safe, Reliable Operation of State's Natural Gas Pipelines

On February 24, 2011, the CPUC announced it will set new rules for the safe and reliable operation of natural gas pipelines in California. Proceeding R.11-02-019 encompasses this rulemaking.

Penalty Consideration Regarding CPUC Staff Report Alleging PG&E's Violation of Laws and Regulations Led to Pipeline Rupture

The CPUC issued a staff report alleging that PG&E violated state law and various federal and state pipeline safety regulations and accepted industry standards, leading to the September 9, 2010, pipeline rupture.  The CPUC’s Commissioners voted unanimously on Jan. 12, 2012, to immediately open a penalty consideration (I.12-01-007) case to examine the report and, as appropriate, consider proper penalties and remedies for such violations.

Penalty Consideration Regarding PG&E Gas Pipeline Recordkeeping

The CPUC has started a penalty consideration phase into whether PG&E's gas transmission pipeline recordkeeping was unsafe, whether it violated the law, and if so whether deficient PG&E recordkeeping caused or contributed to the pipeline rupture in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010.  Proceeding I.11-02-016 encompasses this investigation.

Penalty Consideration Regarding Pipeline Classification

Nov. 10, 2011: CPUC Begins Penalty Consideration Case Regarding Alleged PG&E Pipeline Classification Violations (I.11-11-009).

System Safety and Security in Ratemaking

The CPUC is working on multiple fronts to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Panel and the National Transportation Safety Board.  As part of this effort, the CPUC is establishing a stakeholder process to solicit ideas and proposals to reform the way safety is considered in the CPUC’s ratemaking procedures.

Additional Resources

Last Modified: 5/27/2015 

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