City Manager News ReleaseCity of San Carlos
City Manager's Office

City Hall
600 Elm Street
Phone: (650) 802-4228
Fax: (650) 595-6729


Subject :

PG&E Complies With Court Injunction
Natural Gas Transmission Line 147 Shut Off as of 10:00PM October 6, 2013
Contact :Jeff Maltbie, City Manager, City Manager    (650) 802-4228
Jay Walter, Public Works Director, Public Works    (650) 802-4203
SAN CARLOS, CA, October 7, 2013 – On Sunday, October 6, 2013 at approximately 10:00pm, PG&E completed the process to shut the valves on either end of Line 147, a high pressure natural gas transmission line that runs through San Carlos, effectively removing the line from high pressure transmission service on the Peninsula. According to PG&E, the pressure in Line 147 is expected to be lowered to 125 psi by around 4:00 PM today.

City officials worked through the weekend with PG&E officials to develop the shut down plan, with the main focus to take Line 147 out of high pressure gas transmission service. The City believes that the plan meets the intent of the injunction issued by Judge Miram and is a positive step forward in ensuring the safety of the residents of San Carlos. Line 147 is going to be reduced in pressure from 300 psi to a distribution line pressure of 125 psi, which will allow it to stay in use providing natural gas to residences and business in San Carlos.  The lower pressure reduces the risk of catastrophic explosion along the line.

Mayor Bob Grassilli stated, "I am thankful that PG&E shut the line down on Sunday in compliance with Judge Miram's order, and with the compromise plan that has been reached, for now. We appreciate the effort PG&E has taken to achieve this shutdown condition, as it also minimizes the impact and risk to our residents."

City officials are meeting today with officials from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to discuss the next steps. It is the City’s desire to have Line 147 kept out of high pressure gas transmission sevice until such time that it can be deemed safe to operate at those higher pressures through a public review process with the CPUC. The City is seeking to have the CPUC reinforce the injunction, and as PG&E’s regulator, require that Line 147 be kept out of high pressure service until such time as public hearings can be held to examine the evidence that would help reach a conclusion as to the safety of Line 147. The City will be hiring technical and legal experts to help them evaluate PG&E’s documentation of the line and the testing that has been done on Line 147, before agreeing that the pressure should be restored.

City Manager Jeff Maltbie stated, “I am encouraged by CPUC’s quick response in sending a representative to meet with the city staff and in working with San Carlos to develop and understand how the CPUC can help to ensure residents in San Carlos that Line 147 will be properly reviewed.”

The City continues to operate in a State of Threatened Emergency, as declared by the City Council on October 4th, and is participating in regular conference calls with State emergency officials, San Mateo County emergency officials, and PG&E officials to keep an open dialogue and share information about the current situation. PG&E has indicated that they have no intention of increasing pressure in Line 147 until such time as the City and the public can be assured of the line’s safety.

The City has scheduled a press conference for 3:00 PM today at San Carlos City Hall to discuss the current situation and provide the opportunity to answer questions on the City’s position.