PG&E Works With California Labor Union Employees To Expand Gas Leak-Surveying
PG&E trains five skilled workers on the advanced technology to enhance public
SAN FRANCISCO, July 22, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company
(PG&E) began training five employees to use state-of-the-art gas leak
detecting vehicles, which will be deployed in Sacramento, Santa Rosa,
Stockton, Hayward and Concord over the next few weeks. PG&E is the first
utility in the world to roll out the vehicle-mounted detection technology –
manufactured by Picarro, Inc. – that is 1,000 times more sensitive than
traditional leak detection equipment.
Delivering on PG&E's commitment to strengthen pipeline safety for customers
and employees, select employees represented by the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are undergoing specialized training to operate
the technology at PG&E's Livermore Training facility. PG&E worked closely with
IBEW to develop a training plan.
"We at Local 1245 are proud that PG&E employees are leading the industry in
operating these vehicles and we look forward to detecting and fixing leaks
more efficiently than ever before," said Mike Scafani, a 35-year PG&E employee
in Gas Operations and IBEW Shop Steward.
PG&E's leak-detecting vehicles can distinguish between natural gas leaks from
PG&E pipelines and naturally occurring methane in less than 10 minutes—a
process that can take as long as a week using traditional tools.
"These new vehicles added to our fleet allow us to conduct more frequent and
comprehensive leak surveys, which is a critical step in our effort to become
the safest, most reliable gas system in the nation," said Nick Stavropoulos,
PG&E's executive vice president of Gas Operations. "We know that it's not
enough to just tell customers that we're improving the safety of the system,
so I'm proud that people can see our progress in their own communities."
The utility started testing two vehicle prototypes in early 2012 and
commissioned four more this year.
"As the first utility in the world to adopt this type of technology, PG&E has
taken an innovative and proactive step to providing its millions of California
customers with a better, safer customer experience," said Michael Woelk, CEO
of Picarro. "We're excited to see our technology deployed across PG&E's
service area and in action in the community."
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG),
is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the
United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company
delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern
and Central California. For more information, visit
http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Contact: PG&E External Communications - (415) 973-5930
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