Gas Pipeline Safety Bills Power Into Law


Working against the clock to clear his desk of several hundred bills by Sunday's deadline, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of laws Friday that are meant to reduce the chance of another pipeline explosion like last year's in San Bruno.

Saying "very important lessons" arose from the September 2010 San Bruno blast, which killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes, Brown approved five measures.

"These bills protect California communities by setting new standards for emergency preparedness, placing automatic shutoff valves in vulnerable areas, and ensuring that gas companies pressure test transmission lines," Brown said.

PG&E has been hit with intense criticism for the way it handled both pipe inspections and its response to the San Bruno emergency.

The new measures give new authority to state regulators to require installation of shutoff valves. Utilities will also be required to prepare a pressure test plan for all intrastate transmission lines. The bills also impose tight controls on how utilities raise and spend ratepayer money for those safety mandates.

More on Jerry's bill-signing frenzy:

No Cell Phones in Prison, Says Governor

Secrecy Banished from Clemency Process

Dead Mountain Lion Inspires Law -- And Sarcasm

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