SAN CARLOS -- PG&E has resumed full operations on a controversial natural gas pipeline in San Carlos on Friday, acting on an approval by state regulators that allowed the restoration of line to a pressure of 330 pounds per square inch.
The utility re-pressurized the line on Friday, PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord said.
Earlier this week, the state Public Utilities Commission approved the resumption of a maximum allowable pressure of 330 p.s.i., and also fined PG&E $14.4 million for failing to properly notify the PUC about flawed records and other issues related to the safety of Line 147 beneath San Carlos.
"The safety of Line 147 has been extensively assessed and confirmed not only by PG&E but also by the country's leading pipeline safety consultant and by the Safety and Enforcement Division of the CPUC," the utility said in a prepared release. "This line plays a critical role in delivering natural gas safely and reliably to PG&E customers in the Peninsula."
The 3.8-mile pipeline in San Carlos came under scrutiny amid ongoing concerns about the safety and cost of upgrades of PG&E's vast web of natural gas pipelines in the wake of the deadly San Bruno gas explosion in 2010 that killed eight and destroyed 58 homes.
The PUC's decision on Thursday dismayed San Carlos officials and the city's mayor warned that the municipality may pursue a lawsuit to block the full operation of Line 147 until the pipe is completely re-tested.
San Carlos has proposed that the line operate at 240 p.s.i. pressure, but the PUC decided that a compromise pressure level wasn't feasible.
"PG&E and the PUC may have decided the safety of our residents is of little importance, but we will not abandon our neighbors to them," San Carlos Mayor Mark Olbert said. "We are only a small community, without the resources they have. But we will not rest until the PUC fulfills its fundamental duty, to protect the public, by focusing on safety first and service second."
Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. twitter.com/georgeavalos