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PG&E knew of risks in San Bruno pipeline

The San Francisco Chronicle (8/21, Van Derbeken) reported, "Pacific Gas and Electric Co. knew in 2008 that the San Bruno gas line that later exploded and the network of smaller pipes it fed had multiple potentially at-risk welds, but decided to spike the system's pressure so it could avoid the possibility of costly inspections, according to a company memo turned over to federal investigators." The memo argued that "boosting the pressure temporarily on the San Bruno line was a way to get around testing the welds and preserve its legal capacity." Also in the memo, the author wrote that some sections of the pipe in question "have suspected manufacturing threats." The paper also cites "officials with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration" saying that because the pressure boost "exceeded the legal maximum during the process, the increase itself should have initiated water-pressure inspection tests on Line 132."

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