Fiona Ma for State Assembly

PG&E To Share Pipeline Data With Fire Departments

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — PG&E announced Tuesday that it would share specific information about its natural gas pipeline infrastructure with fire departments in San Francisco and Fremont to protect first responders in the event of a gas-related fire.

The data will be handed over in electronic form at the urging of Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco/ San Mateo, who became aware of the information gap over the course of several legislative investigations into the Sept. 9 San Bruno pipeline explosion and fire, Ma spokesman Nick Hardman said Tuesday.

Eight people were killed and dozens of homes destroyed in the blaze.

“Fire departments do not always have critical pipeline information, like their size or where they’re located,” Hardman said. “Fire departments need to know where those pipelines are, whether they’re responding to a fire caused by a household appliance or a pipeline explosion like the one in San Bruno.”

PG&E has established a pilot program with the cities of San Francisco and Fremont to provide their fire departments with electronic versions of PG&E’s pipeline infrastructure for the first time, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.

“In the wake of the San Bruno tragedy, we committed to better coordination with local first responders,” Molica said.

The utility company will need to work out differences in computer software capabilities with the fire departments before the pilot program can be expanded system wide across PG&E’s service area, Molica said.

“We have reached out to San Bruno and are working with them to be a pilot city as well,” Molica said.