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Report: PG&E was aware of San Bruno pipe defect, other threats, FBI witness says

Pacific Gasand Electric Co.'s pipeline system records were spotty but, despitethe gaps, showed a host of known threats, an FBI agent said during testimony atthe company's criminal trial.

FBI special agent Sandra Flores reviewed the utility's gassystem records in the wake of the fatal2010 San Bruno, Calif., pipeline explosion and found 196 pipesegments with "active" manufacturing defects, The Mercury News of SanJose reported July 20.

Included among the known risks was a manufacturing defect onLine 132 — the pipe that ruptured in the San Francisco suburb San Bruno,killing eight people and destroying several buildings — according to Flores'testimony.

Pipeline pressure-test records did not exist, however, fornumerous pipelines in the San Francisco area and another county, Flores said,according to The Mercury News.

Flores' revelations appeared to advance the prosecution'sallegations that the PG&ECorp. subsidiary violated federal pipeline safety standards thatcall for operators to knowpipelines' appropriatemaximum allowable operating pressures and to maintain the lines at or below those pressures.

The utility faces 12 felony counts of violating the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, alongwith obstructing theNational Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the pipelineexplosion.