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CPUC Warns San Francisco About Aging Pipelines

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The California Public Utilities Commission is putting pressure on San Francisco to allow Pacific Gas & Electric Co. crews to replace miles of cast iron pipes that they said are aging and dangerous.

In a letter, CPUC attorney Frank Lindh said that San Francisco faces a clear and present danger from the aging pipes.

"They're brittle and they rupture rather easily," Lindh said. "They're really not state of the art."

Lindh has sent a letter to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera urging him to tell the city's Department of Public Works to allow the utility to remove the pipes.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

The utility has replaced nearly 800 miles of cast iron pipes across California since 1985, including many miles in San Francisco.

PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said the utility is anxious to replace the final 43 miles of old pipes that remain.

"We have a close working relationship with the city and in fact, we actually have a committee that meets with all of the utilities and DPW to try to plan these projects out," said Molica.

However, Herrera said he is taking a leading role in pressuring both PG&E and state regulators to address pipeline safety.

He also said he would appreciate details of any specific instances where the Department of Public Works prevented PG&E from doing the replacement work.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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