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San Carlos to spend $250,000 on pipeline consultants

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The San Carlos City Council has authorized spending $250,000 to hire consultants to help investigate the safety of a PG&E gas pipeline that runs through the city.

In a unanimous vote at Monday night’s meeting, the council approved the expenditure, which will add private consultants to a team of investigators from the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E who are examining PG&E’s records related to Line 147, a 3.8-mile natural-gas transmission line that runs beneath Brittan Avenue.

San Carlos Vice Mayor Mark Olbert said the consultants will help evaluate PG&E’s pipeline records and safety test results in order to determine if Line 147 is safe and can be returned to service.

San Carlos city leaders began questioning the safety of the line after receiving internal PG&E emails that showed that PG&E engineers had raised concerns in November that the pipe was thinner than indicated in PG&E records and had showed corrosion.

The CPUC last week ordered the San Carlos line to be taken out of service until a full safety investigation could be conducted.

PG&E maintains that Line 147 has gone through extensive testing as recently as 2011 and remains safe to operate.