sanbrunofire.pipe.jpgPG&E President Chris Johns promised in writing today that the company would not rebuild a ruptured pipeline in the same San Bruno neighborhood where it exploded in September, killing eight people.

“I want to reiterate to you and the residents of your city that you have our commitment that PG&E will not rebuild the damaged section of Line 132 in its current location,” Johns said in a letter to San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane.

“We know residents in this neighborhood have suffered a terrible trauma and the pipe is a horrible reminder.”

On Sept. 9, Line 132 exploded and ignited a gas-fueled fire that tore through the Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood. Eight people were killed and 35 homes destroyed.

Johns’ promise comes less than a week after PG&E and elected officials expressed uncertainty about whether the line would be moved and who would be making the final decision.

On Friday morning, State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said Johns promised during a meeting to move the rebuilt line, but later in the day Yee backtracked on those comments.

“They can’t absolutely guarantee that because they don’t have that authority,” he said in reference to relocating the line.

Yee said the decision would ultimately rest in the hands of California Public Utilities Commission officials, but a PG&E spokeswoman said today that company officials are no longer uncertain about whether they have the authority to move the segment.

“We will move the pipeline,” spokeswoman Katie Romans said, adding that it remains unclear who will fund moving Line 132 out of the San Bruno neighborhood.

“All of those details about cost and source of funding remains to be seen,” she said.

On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission received a PG&E report detailing several gas leaks on lines similar to the one that exploded in San Bruno.

According to the report, PG&E investigators across California found and dealt with four gas leaks on main transmission lines and 34 leaks on other facilities that required immediate repair.

“These leaks were discovered, and we took immediate action to make repairs,” PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said.

None of the four leaks discovered were on Line 132, Romans said today.

At Friday’s news conference, Ruane expressed concern about the city’s emotional health in the aftermath of the Sept. 9 explosion.

“We have kids up there that are uncomfortable in the evening,” he said.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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