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Aging Pipelines Could Pose Threat To Suisun City Neighborhood

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SUISUN CITY, Calif. (CBS13) -- A pair of old pipelines near a residential neighborhood close to Travis Air Force Base has the potential to cause serious damage and disrupt utilities services to Northern California, according to a federally funded report.

Anthony Moscarelli, a former Lawrence Berkeley engineer and one of the researchers for the study, said a PG&E pipeline and a jet fuel line run closely together near the military base.

If one of the pipelines were to suffer a serious problem, there could be a threat to the nearby neighborhood.

“One was put in 1949 and the other one in 1965,” Moscarelli said.

The jet fuel line runs with 15 feet of the PG&E line and has not be free of problems, he said.

“We found from their own studies that we got from the Freedom of Information Act… that the jet fuel line is not in good condition at all,” Moscarelli said.

The report (.pdf), prepared for the California Healthy Communities Network and the Tides Foundation by Dr. Robert Curry of Watershed Systems, said the region was rural farmland when the pipelines were installed.

Residents who live in the area now said they were aware the pipeline existed but not that it was decades old.

“I live not even 100 feet from the line, so that could be devastating for me, my neighbors, the whole neighborhood,” said James Burke.

Moscarelli said an explosion could produce a worse disaster than the San Bruno gas explosion in 2010 and cut off most of Northern California from gas.

“This is a feeder line, and comes through and feeds most of Northern California,” he said.

The report urges PG&E to boost maintenance on their older lines and also work on upgrading their infrastructure over the next 50 years.

PG&E sent CBS13 a statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Safety is the highest priority to PG&E. Since San bruno, a lot of additional steps are in place to ensure the safety of our customers, including leak surveys of transmission lines and we are still in the midst of hydrostatically testing 150 miles of lines this year alone. Both gas lines in Suisun City are scheduled for internal testing, one next month and the other in 2012.”

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