PG&E is all set to replace a natural gas line laid along highway 99 between Yuba City and Live Oak dating back to the days of the Eisenhower administration.
On 23rd April 2012, a company spokesman said that the 3,000 feet line, which is being replaced shouldn’t be thought of as prone to imminent failure and pending disaster.
A spokeswoman for the utility company, Brittany MacKannay said: “Over the past year, we’ve been working on our gas distribution and transmission system, and this is part of that.” as well also remarked: “We want to keep the line at the right pressure to meet demand now and in the future.”
According to the statements by McKannay, work on gas line running north-south about 50 yards west of Highway 99 starting from the southern and ending near Encinal Road has begun about a month ago. The project expected to finish in two months, will be delayed because of rainy weather.
Crews are busy in replacing a gas line having a 16-inch transmission installed in 1954. Being an old line, it runs through an orchard passing along the highway and Union Pacific Rail road tracks.
McKannay said that the replacement project is not directly linked to the case where a line of the same age ruptured in a San Bruno residential neighbourhood killing eight people and destroying dozens of homes in 2010.
She pointed out: “If there’s any one situation that poses a public safety risk, we address it immediately.”
A watchdog group covering PG&E as well other utility companies don’t know the exact reason for replacing the line, which prompted PG&E.
Minda Spatt, communications director for the Utility Reform Network, said: “Obviously, there’s a huge interest in customer safety among the public, and we hope there’s a huge interest by PG&E.” as well said: “Is this something they’ve known about for a long time, or discovered recently?”
In her statement Spatt said that her group is more concerned about PG&E, which is trying to replace old lines for safety precautions without taking straight support by ratepayers. Hence, it is affecting company profits.
PG&E has filed requests with the state Public Utilities Commission to increase its rates to pay for pipeline upgrades.