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PG&E To Repair San Carlos Pipeline Seen As Explosion Risk

SAN CARLOS (CBS SF)— PG&E has turned off a transmission line that runs under San Carlos to make repairs to a section with unexplained dents in it amid questions whether or not it's safe to turn the line back on.

The small PG&E construction site sits tucked at the end of Tasker Lane amid towering trees and stately homes with river rock chimneys. The crew is replacing a section of Line 147 so one of its inspection robots, known as a "smart-pig", can travel through.

Line 147 mostly runs along Brittan Avenue, and serves nearly half a million people.

Line 147
PG&E Line 147, a natural pipeline that runs through San Carlos. (CBS)

Last week inspectors found the unexplained dents or bulges in that section. A controversial 2013 email by a PG&E engineer, likened Line 147 to the one that ruptured under San Bruno in 2010.

City Councilman Mark Olbert has suggested PG&E shouldn't turn the line back on so quickly.

"Every time they've dug down, they found something that wasn't in the records or was odd or something. There's a point at which for me that raises enough question. Let's play it safe. Let's not have gas flowing through the line, let's not have it under pressure until we know for a fact from doing the probe (the pigging) that it's safe," he said.

PG&E spokesperson Donald Cutler said the plan is to re-pressurize the line, but under a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) request to keep it lower than previously run.

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