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 :

Senator Hill Calls For Hearing on Public Safety Communications in Response to Safety Concerns Over Line 147 in San Carlos
Contact :Jeff Maltbie, City Manager, City Manager    (650) 802-4228
SAN CARLOS, CA, October 21, 2013 – State Senator Jerry Hill has called for a hearing to develop an action plan to improve safety communications from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to local agencies in reponse to recent safety concerns about PG&E line 147, which carries natural gas through San Carlos. Officials from the City of San Bruno, the City of San Carlos, and the City/County Association of Governments for San Mateo County will testify at the hearing.  Representatives from the CPUC and PG&E are also expected to appear. Interested residents and businesses are invited to attend this event on Monday, October 28, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at San Carlos City Hall, 600 Elm Street, in the City Council Chambers.  

San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson is expected to describe San Bruno's dealings with the CPUC and PG&E in the wake of the explosion three years ago that took the lives of eight people and destroyed over 35 homes and damaged many more.  San Carlos City Manager Jeff Maltbie will explain the City of San Carlos’ concerns about line 147 and how PG&E and the CPUC are responding to questions about safety.

San Carlos Mayor Bob Grassilli welcomed Senator Hill’s proactive attention to the City of San Carlos’ safety concerns by stating, "Having the opportunity to discuss important pipeline safety concerns with residents and state and local elected officials here in San Carlos is a critical step in ensuring that PG&E and the CPUC are addesssing our issues."

Line 147 is currently out of service until CPUC staff can conduct an investigation to verify the safety of the utilities pipeline. Concerns about the safety of the line are based on unanswered questions about the integrity of the pipeline after a 2011 pressure test was conducted and incomplete records on the pipeline’s age and its material composition were raised by one of PG&E’s own engineers in an internal PG&E email that was recently made public.  

City of San Carlos staff met with CPUC officials in San Carlos to gain a better understanding of the CPUC’s role in regulating utilities and ensuring their safe operation.  As a part of the investigation, City staff will be conducting a series of meetings with the CPUC Safety and Enforcement Division to explain the City’s concerns and obtain answers to the many questions the City has regarding line 147 and its safe operation. 

The CPUC ordered PG&E to provide pertinent documents to the City for evaluation.  The City Attorney subsequently received a number of documents from PG&E. At the October 14th City Council meeting, Council authorized up to $250,000 for the legal and technical assistance required for this very specialized area.  The City expects to retain technical and legal support soon and will seek reimbursement from PG&E for the expenses. Senator Hill said “Local governments should not have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to do the work PG&E and the CPUC are supposed to do.”

The public is invited to attend this special meeting on Monday, October 28, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at San Carlos City Hall, 600 Elm Street, in the City Council Chambers  to hear representatives from local officials discuss communication issues related to the safety concerns of our communities.