|City Manager News Release||City of San Carlos|
City Manager's Office
600 Elm Street
Phone: (650) 802-4228
Fax: (650) 595-6729
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||PRESS RELEASE #10052013|
|Subject :||City Activates Limited Emergency Operations Center|
Responds to State of Emergency
|Contact :||Jeff Maltbie, City Manager, City Manager (650) 802-4228|
Greg Rubens, City Attorney, City Attorney (650) 593-3117x202
|SAN CARLOS, CA, October 5, 2013 – At 11:30am on Saturday, October 4, 2013, the City of San Carlos activated the Emergency Operations Center in a limited capacity. |
At 12:00pm today, the City Manager, City Attorney, San Carlos Police and Fire Departments, and Public Works met via conference call with representatives from PG&E Gas Operations, and State and County Office of Emergency Services, to discuss the current status of Natural Gas Transmission Line 147. Line 147 is a 20" pipe that is 3.8 miles long and runs from the Interstate 280 corridor, through San Carlos, to the Highway 101 corridor, primarily down Brittan Avenue. The City estimates that some 5000 plus residents live near the transmission line.
Thursday, the City learned that some engineers within PG&E had stated in emails that line 147 may have been structurally compromised by pressure testing that the company permitted in 2011. The City requested PG&E voluntarily shut down line 147, until such time as a neutral third party could examine the data and evidence establishing the current physical condition of the pipe, and its safety. PG&E declined to shut down line 147, and the City was forced to seek an injunction to shut down the line. The injunction was obtained just before 5:00pm Friday.
As of the conclusion of today's 12:00pm conference call with PG&E, company representatives confirmed that they continue to operate line 147 despite the existence of the injunction, but are analyzing the alleged impacts of shutting down the line. The analysis, according to PG&E, will be concluded by Monday morning, October 7, 2013. Mayor Bob Grassilli responded, stating this timeline is not at all satisfactory. "How can a company which claims safety is their top priority continue to ignore a court order issued to protect the public? It’s 80 degrees outside, PG&E customers in the Bay Area aren’t going to be without gas if line 147 were shut down. They shut down the line for several months in 2011 without impacting customers.” City Manager Jeff Maltbie reiterated for the residents of San Carlos that the City has no reason to believe physical conditions of the pipe have changed in the last few days. He stated, “We’ve declared a state of emergency and obtained a court order because we believe PG&E has incomplete and contradictory information about the safety status and physical make up of line 147. We believe PG&E has a responsibility to our community to shut the line down until they can show the public it’s safe.”
Vice Mayor Mark Olbert stated, “ Our residents deserve to live in their own homes without fear of a pipe line explosion. We are asking that the line be shut down until such time as PG&E can prove to the public in front of the CPUC that line 147 is safe and they know what they have in the ground here in San Carlos.”