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Audits: PG&E Delayed Checking Gas Pipes For Years

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - State records show the California utility under fire following a huge natural gas pipeline explosion put off inspecting its lines for years and used less thorough inspection techniques than its own safety guidelines recommended.

State regulators have been probing safety protocols at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the wake of September's deadly pipeline blast in San Bruno that left eight dead, dozens injured and 55 homes uninhabitable.

The California Public Utilities Commission released its audits of the company Wednesday showing PG&E had put off some crucial inspections across its network of high-pressure transmission lines for more than two years.

The records also show that just two years ago, the utility did not have proper procedures to ensure staff was following key safety bulletins from federal regulators.