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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org Docket #: Res L-403
CPUC APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF EXPERT PANEL
TO STUDY SAN BRUNO EXPLOSION
SAN FRANCISCO, September 23, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today said it will establish within 30 days an Independent Review Panel of experts to gather facts and make recommendations as to whether there is a need for the general improvement of the safety of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) natural gas transmission lines.
The CPUC conferred on the panel the same investigatory authority as the CPUC staff already possesses for purposes of the fact-finding investigation regarding the San Bruno pipeline explosion of Sept. 9, 2010. CPUC President Michael R. Peevey will select the panel experts, no fewer than three and no more than five members, subject to ratification by the CPUC.
"As I discussed with Governor Schwarzenegger following the San Bruno explosion, I am calling for the establishment of this panel in order to get an additional expert perspective on what caused the San Bruno explosion and to make any broader recommendations for safety improvements for PG&E, including whether there are any systemic management problems," said President Peevey. "I also expect the panel to recommend any improvements they think we might need here at the CPUC."
Said Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, "I fully support the establishment of this panel. This should be viewed as a critical first step in a longer process that will require us to be methodical and comprehensive in our response. The material facts will be sorted out in due time but I am optimistic that this Commission will take the appropriate steps to ensure adequate safeguards for natural gas pipeline deployment, operations, and maintenance."
Added Commissioner Nancy E. Ryan, "Our condolences go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy. Everyone at the CPUC pledges to undertake a robust and probing investigation as to why this happened and to do everything we can to prevent this from happening again. This Independent Review Panel will help us do just that."
The Resolution voted on, including a Charter for the panel, is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/AGENDA_RESOLUTION/123786.htm.
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.