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News Release

Commission Seeks Update on Natural Gas Pipeline Safety in Wake of California Incident
Oct. 29 , 2010 (2010-26)
Contacts:    Ray Baum, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611;John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR.  The Oregon Public Utility Commission plans to hold a hearing Nov. 4th at 9:30am in the Commission’s Main hearing room in Salem  to discuss  natural gas pipeline safety measures in the wake of California’s unfortunate pipeline explosion.
“We are bringing in representatives of the industry to hear what they have done and are doing to ensure we do not experience a similar deadly explosion, Commission Chairman Ray Baum said.
The Commission’s Safety staff works to ensure that the natural gas utilities develop, implement, and maintain good inspection and maintenance procedures. The Commission has the authority to require utilities to correct safety problems.  
  • The OPUC follows all federal safety regulation and 2003 amendments for the Gas Transmission  Integrity Management Program
  • The OPUC’s Safety Division gives highest priority to audits of pipeline safety and integrity programs
  • The PUC has assigned specific responsibility for pipeline integrity to a Senior Pipeline Engineer
  • The PUC Safety Division continuously performs field audits of gas operators’ pipeline systems, both transmission and distribution, and reviews operators’ design, construction, maintenance and operations activities  in adherence to safety standards
  • Also, the Sr. Pipeline Engineer observes portions of all phases of field work of gas operators, which includes; testing, investigation, assessment, repair and replacement.
Oregon law requires that anyone digging in private property or any public right of way call the One Call Center prior to digging.
The One-Call Center is available 24 hours to process locate requests, and is the only resource of its kind that covers all of Oregon and many areas in surrounding states.
Dig Safely Oregon