Gov. Brown signs 3 bills tightening pipeline safety

Getty Images File PhotoAssemblyman Jerry Hill

Three bills that will tighten safety restrictions on natural gas pipelines as well as prioritize revenue for upgrades instead of executive compensation were signed into law Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown signed 34 pieces of legislation Sunday, including Assembly Bills 578, 861 and 1456, all sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.

Hill’s district includes the Crestmoor neighborhood in San Bruno, which was devastated when a PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in September 2010. The blast and subsequent fire killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes. Hill has made it a priority to increase regulations on utility companies to prevent another disaster.

AB 578 will require the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency that oversees and regulates utilities, to adopt the standards set forth by the National Transportation Safety Board. If the commission opts not to adopt the standards, it must submit reasons for the decision in writing.

Provisions under AB 861 would “ensure utilities don’t cut corners on safety and maintenance in order to convert ratepayer dollars into bonuses for executives,” according to Hill.

The assemblyman said company executives often receive big payouts even when there are pipelines that need to be replaced and standards that need to be upgraded.

With AB 1456, the CPUC will be required to adopt performance metrics for pipeline safety and will have the power to levy fines to those utilities that are found to be performing poorly.

Hill is scheduled to host a news conference announcing the signing of the legislation at the CPUC building in San Francisco at 10 a.m. today.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

Just Posted

Mayor sets deadline to empty seismically unsafe jail, but city still lacks a plan to make it happen

On the 30th anniversary of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, Mayor London… Continue reading

E-scooter company Skip announces layoffs after losing SF permit

San Francisco-based e-scooter company Skip this week announced pending layoffs for roughly… Continue reading

SF files motion to dismiss NRA’s lawsuit over ‘domestic terrorist’ label

San Francisco filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the lawsuit filed against… Continue reading

Thirty years after Loma Prieta, is San Francisco ready for the next ‘big one?’

Bay Area residents breathed a sigh of relief this week after a… Continue reading

With Loftus set to take office, poll shows voters disapprove of last-minute DA appointment

Mayor London Breed made an unpopular decision when she named candidate Suzy… Continue reading

Most Read