Carmel Demands Gas Blast Investigation

By Published On: August 28, 2014

The Carmel City Council voted Aug. 25 to urge state regulators to investigate a gas pipe explosion in early March that destroyed an unoccupied home in the city. Carmel seeks a formal rulemaking to launch a full blown investigation because it claims the Pacific Gas & Electric blast in Carmel was a result of a violation of state gas distribution safety rules. “We are deeply concerned that the same apparent negligence demonstrated by PG&E in San Bruno is possible in our community,” said Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett. He added that the council was troubled that the utility did not join it in seeking a formal investigation. In an letter issued after the council vote to California Public Utilities Commission safety division director, Burnett said the city believes that PG&E violated the state Pipeline Safety Act “in part due to the absence of records, erroneous records and in particular to the fact that PG&E didn’t have as-built records when conducting a pipe replacement project in Carmel.” In addition to seeking an investigation into alleged code violations, the city requested that the commission safety staff finish their investigation of the March 3 explosion, which occurred while PG&E crews were working on a gas line nearby. The U.S. Attorney's office and other authorities are investigating the March 3 explosion in Carmel, which occurred while PG&E crews were working on the gas line nearby.

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