New Gas Control Center opens to help PG&E monitor pipelines

PG&E announced Friday the opening of its new Gas Control Center, which will aid the utility company in its efforts to increase the safety of its gas pipelines in the wake of a 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed eight people.

“The real-time information,” according to the company, will allow it to “better anticipate and respond to public safety concerns and ensure system reliability.”

The $38 million, 24-hour center in San Ramon will allow the utility to monitor 6,750 miles of transmission pipeline and 42,000 miles of distribution pipeline, a company representative said.

The announcement comes not long after new revelations surfaced claiming the company had poor record keeping on a stretch of pipeline passing through San Carlos. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the incident found that bad record keeping was partly to blame in the 2010 San Bruno explosion and resulting gas-fueled fire that destroyed 38 homes.

“The new Gas Control Center is an essential part of our journey to becoming the safest, most reliable utility in the nation,” said Tony Earley, PG&E corporate head, in a statement.

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