Final Report of the Independent Review Panel

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Link to the report

Noteworthy Quotations

Page 1: "the residents were generally unaware of the proximity of a high-pressure natural gas transmission system to their homes"
This was also true in Mountain View, where almost none of the homeowners had any idea that there is a 2' pipeline in our backyards. PG&E did not consider it important enough to notify homeowners over the years.

Page 44: "The rupture created a crater approximately 72 feet long by 26 feet wide."

Page 5: "As a result of our investigation, the Panel concludes the explosion of the pipeline at San Bruno was a consequence of multiple weaknesses in PG&E's management and oversight of the safety of its gas transmission system. Furthermore, the Panel finds the CPUC did not have the resources to monitor PG&E's performance in pipeline integrity management adequately or the organizational focus that would have elevated concerns about PG&E's performance in a meaningful way."

Page 6: "Management's focus in recent times appears to have been on the occupational safety of its employees and lacking an equivalent focus on the public safety aspects of its system."
This is the big fear that came out of the October 2, 2012 meeting with PG&E and the invloved Mountain View homeowners.

Page 13: "Within a few weeks after September 9, 2010, PG&E announced a program to enhance pipeline safety it named "Pipeline 2020."13 The program has five elements: (1) modernizing infrastructure, (2) installing automated or remote-controlled valves, (3) investing in next generation inspection technology, (4) developing industry best practices, and (5) building safety partnerships. In reviewing the Pipeline 2020 program, we did not find it to be well-reasoned or based on a thoughtful examination of alternatives. The plan appears to be reactive. A careful reading of the materials deepens the Panel's concerns the company has not underpinned its efforts with solid engineering and economic analysis."
With people newly learning about pipelines in our backyards, this fear has reached a critical level among many people.

Page 48: Findings: "PG&E has been in a state of perpetual organizational instability for more than a decade."

Page 48: "In 2001, the utility company, PG&E, filed for bankruptcy."

Page 50: "As leadership changes occurred throughout the decade at PG&E, they included selection of a number of individuals in top management with little or no previous experience in the natural gas industry and/or no direct operating experience."

Page 50: "In an interview with a top leader of PG&E, the question was asked as to what factor(s) would most positively affect safety in the future. The response given was the provision for the recovery of costs for safety improvements would be the most important factor."

Page 52: "top management appears to be focused on financial performance"

Page 65: "PG&E has stated it is also on track to complete a baseline assessment on the all covered gas transmission pipeline segments by December 17, 2012. However, the CPUC conducted an audit of PG&E's IMP in 2010, which had two overriding findings. First, PG&E was diluting the requirements of its IMP through its exception process. Second, it appeared PG&E was allocating insufficient resources to carry out and complete assessments in a timely manner. So while PG&E asserts it is on schedule, the CPUC has raised a question about whether this is compliance in form or substance."

Page 72: "The fact the line pipe DSAW seam type was incorrectly recorded as "seamless" is symptomatic of PG&E's inadequate quality control and quality assurance management."
They also told us that ours is seamless, and that we should not worry.