Most residents who live at York and 25th Streets said they were unaware of their proximity to a northern section of the same main natural gas transmission pipeline that exploded in San Bruno last week and left four people dead, more than 60 injured and many more displaced.
“It’s disconcerting considering current events,” said Brendan Kelly, a resident who lives just blocks away. Others were unfazed. “They have to go somewhere,” shrugged Mauricio Albrizzio, a 37-year old teacher who lives along the pipeline. “We all can’t be NIMBY about it. We all have to take a little bit of risk to have the common comforts.”
Mission Loc@l obtained the location of PG&E’s gas transmission lines in the Mission from an online mapping program available to the public through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, within the U.S. Department of Transportation. The mapping system, provided by PHMSA’s Office of Pipeline Safety, has been overwhelmed in recent days by residents trying to identify pipes near their homes.
Blaine Keener, a Field Coordinator for OPS, says the server that houses the maps typically gets 500 hits a day, but has recently been getting about 25,000 hits daily.
The maps show the pipes running along 25th Street between Potrero Ave and York Street, and southward on York to Cesar Chavez St. The lines continue on into Bernal Heights to the south, and run adjacent to San Francisco General Hospital and through Potrero Hill to the west.
While the National Transportation Safety Board has begun their probe, the California Public Utilities Commission ordered PG&E, the pipe’s operator, to inspect its network of over 5,000 miles of natural gas transmission lines statewide.
It is not yet clear when PG&E will begin their inspection process, however the Public Utilities Commission has ordered PG&E to present a comprehensive plan for inspection by September 23. They will be required to evaluate all lines, fix any issues, and report back by October 12. Some residents reported seeing PG&E trucks at work within a few blocks of the Mission segment of the pipeline on Tuesday evening. PG&E was not immediately available to confirm the service reports.