SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ten weeks after the deadly San Bruno natural gas explosion, a California legislator is pressing regulators to immediately hire more natural gas pipeline inspectors.

The California Public Utilities Commission says its nine inspectors are aggressive and effective, but conceded the agency has fallen short and it hopes to eventually hire another four inspectors. PUC officials say only 1 percent at most of the 110,000 miles of gas pipelines are inspected.

The San Francisco Chronicle says state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, who is chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, wrote the PUC’s executive director on Nov. 10 saying the agency should hire the four inspectors now.

Padilla says the San Bruno explosion, which killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes on Sept. 9, illustrates the gravity of the problem.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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