PG&E Corp. says correction of San Carlos pipeline information not a safety risk

PG&E Corp.’s chief executive officer told California public utilities commissioners Monday that a belated and allegedly misleading correction of information on a San Carlos natural gas pipeline did not pose a safety risk.

At a hearing at the PG&E headquarters in San Francisco, CEO Tony Earley said PG&E managers and engineers believed the pipeline, known as Line 147, was safe because it had passed a high-pressure water test in 2011, a year before the utility discovered it had provided the California Public Utilities Commission with incorrect information about the types of seams in the line.

But Earley agreed the utility erred in waiting nine months to submit a public filing to the commission correcting the records.

Earley maintained, however, “I found no action that constituted an intentional effort to mislead the commission.”

PG&E began learning in October 2012 that three pipeline segments it had listed as seamless, and a fourth segment recorded as having a strong weld, in fact had a weaker type of weld. The information affected the maximum pressure allowed in the pipe, according to the utility.

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