Pipeline explosion lawsuit targets feds

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Not a question of “if” but “when” will next disaster happen

SAN FRANCISCO — The city of San Francisco is suing a federal agency to force it to step up natural gas safety regulations in California, SF Gate and other media reported.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera charged in the suit that the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “abjectly failed” to enforce pipeline regulations, leading to a natural gas pipeline blast that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in a San Bruno neighborhood.

Pacific Gas & Electric “exploited weaknesses in a lax system of oversight,” Deborah Hersman noted in a report from the National Transportation Safety Board on the September 2010 explosion.

The suit filed on behalf of San Francisco alleges that the the pipeline agency abdicated its responsibilities over more than a decade while the California Public Utilities Commission failed to detect PG&E’s safety problems. Herrerra also called PG&E’spipeline-management practices questionable and its record-keeping shoddy.

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