November 2011, Vol. 238 No. 11


The National Transportation Safety Boards Report on San Bruno: Implications for Pipeline Safety

On Sept. 26, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (Board or NTSB) released its final report on the Sept. 9, 2010 San Bruno, CA pipeline explosion. The incident occurred on a 30-inch diameter intrastate gas transmission line (Line 132) operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E). The explosion and fire destroyed or damaged 70 homes and killed 8 people. The NTSB found that the San Bruno accident was caused by numerous deficiencies, including three key lapses. First, the Board found that PG&E’s oversight of the Line 132 relocation in 1956 was inadequate. Consequently, PG&E installed pipe that did not conform to any known standards and which con

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