Risk Of Levee Break Threatens Natural Gas Pipeline

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, September 12, 2005

Utility officials say the pipeline is too vulnerable.

“If we have another major Jones Tract style washout as we did last year or a Katrina style washout, the pipeline simply could not withstand that kind of pressure and we would see gas service curtailed in the Sacramento and Stockton areas.”

PG&E spokesman Jason Alderman says to fight the risk, the utility is building a second pipeline to connect their McDonald Island natural gas storage facility.

“The new pipeline that we’re building will be significantly further underground so that even if there was some sort of levee failure that wiped out areas that were never even considered to be at risk for a levee flood that it would still be protected.”

The new pipeline will be 100-feet underground. The existing line is only 6-feet underground. Alderman says the second pipeline should be operating by next winter.