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Neighbors, Fire Officials Question Safety Of Exposed, Old PG&E Gas Line In Briones Park

LAFAYETTE (KPIX) - An exposed PG&E pipeline, that runs about 40 feet through Briones Park near Lafayette, is raising concerns among fire officials in and neighbors alike.

Michael and Gina Dawson are so worried, they alerted Lafayette's Gas Safety Task Force to the exposed and sagging pipeline. Gina Dawson says they are concerned about some large trees that threaten the old pipe too.

"Trunk goes down and a there's bit of soil is missing from underneath the angle of it so it's probably already eroded a bit beneath it and it definitely really has a lean to it."

Contra Costa Fire is worried too. Deputy Chief Arron McAlister says they have contacted PG&E.

"It's entirely possible that this pipeline has been there for some time and been in this condition for a very long time but, we are aware of it and we have knowledge of it and we'd like to see some action on it," said McAlister.

PG&E has the pipeline clearly marked. After the ravine it extends underground towards Lafayette. PG&E says they, too, are aware of the pipeline and issued this statement:

"We want the East Bay community to know that the pipeline in Briones Regional Park is safe. It has been, and continues to be, monitored as part of ongoing maintenance activities."

The pipe has large spots where the corrosion protection coating is missing, exposing the metal pipe to the elements.

Michael Dawson founded Save Lafayette Trees, but in this case, he wants some trees removed.

"Couple of trees here pose an immediate risk to the pipeline because they hang over a pipeline in an area where a lot of trees are falling down."

Deputy Chief Arron McAlister cautions, "If a tree was to fall on that pipeline, it could compromise the line and that is our concern."

PG&E says they are taking measurements of the pipe, conducting load-bearing analysis and other geological observations.

Meanwhile, Contra Costa fire officials are doing additional surveys, to see if there are any other exposed pipelines from the same era.

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