PG&E takes steps to put safety first after San Bruno accident

May 2013, Vol. 68 No. 5

The four previously completed recommendations are:
• Records: PG&E conducted an intensive records search including retrieving, scanning, and uploading more than 3.5 million paper documents to meet the NTSB’s threshold for traceable, verifiable and complete records.
• Emergency procedure: PG&E established a comprehensive response procedure to large-scale emergencies on gas transmission pipelines. The procedure identifies a single person to assume command and specifies duties for all others involved; includes development and use of trouble-shooting protocols and checklists; and requires periodic tests or drills to show that the procedure can work.
• 911 notification: PG&E’s gas control room operators, who keep 24-hour watch of the utility’s transmission pipeline network, are now required to immediately notify the 911 call centers for the communities affected when a possible pipeline rupture is detected.
• Toxicological tests: PG&E has revised its post-accident toxicological testing to ensure timely testing and inclusion of all potentially involved employees.

Of the five remaining safety recommendations, the NTSB considers PG&E’s progress “open—acceptable pending completion.” The utility will continue making progress toward their completion, which will include revisions and improvements to its integrity management program to ensure the safe operation of its pipeline system.