Feds: Pipeline companies must keep safety records

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Associated Press

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 8 at 12:02 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The federal government says energy companies must keep up-to-date records to prove they are running the nation's aging pipelines at safe pressures, a move that comes in response to a deadly natural gas blast that consumed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood.

If pipeline operators can't ensure their oil and gas lines are running at safe pressures, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration says they could face penalties starting next year.

The advisory bulletin the administration issued Monday cites the September 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes.

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the accident on multiple failures by one of the nation's largest natural gas companies, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., including shoddy records based on incomplete and inaccurate pipeline information.

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