Redding: PG&E Gas Team Finds a Creative Solution to Keep Customer Safe

PG&E’s Community Pipeline Safety Initiative team is working hard every day to make sure that the area above and around natural gas transmission lines is free from obstacles that could prevent first responders and safety crews from getting to the pipe and making it safe in an emergency.

Each day members of the team rollout through PG&E’s vast service territory to meet with community leaders and customers about the importance of keeping structures, trees and bushes away from the pipeline for safety reasons. However, sometimes that message can be a difficult one to deliver, especially when it involves someone’s home.Meet Annalesa Wagner, a land agent with PG&E’s Community Pipeline Safety team. Late last year, she knocked on the front door of Janis Cross, a resident of the Twin View Mobile Home Park in Redding. A survey that PG&E conducted revealed that Janis’ home was too close to the pipeline and Wagner had the difficult task of notifying Cross of the potential safety risk.

“When I first met Janis and we started talking about her home being too close to the pipeline, she was pretty upset, as you can imagine,” Wagner said. “Our relationship really started at the bottom and had to work its way up from there.”

Typically, when a tree or structure poses a safety concern, PG&E works with the property owner or civic leader to restore the area and replace the item in a new location that is a safe distance from the pipeline. However, because of the age and condition of Cross’ home, the structure couldn’t be successfully relocated.

Wagner and her team got creative and worked to find a solution that would ensure Cross could stay safe, and the pipeline would be accessible in case of a future emergency or natural disaster.

“I don’t think Janis believed me at first when I told her we were going to give her a new house,” Wagner said. “She was shocked. This was a unique circumstance and we really wanted to make sure that first and foremost Janis could live in a safe place and second that she felt like we had done everything we could to make her whole again.”

The PG&E team worked to find Janis a new home that was comparable to her old home and let Janis pick out the interior. Once the details were finalized, a safe location was found within the mobile home park for her new residence and all that was left to do was move in and unpack.

“PG&E is not nameless or faceless to me anymore,” Cross said. “I have met some really nice people here.”

The Community Pipeline Safety Initiative is about keeping customers, employees and communities safe, Wagner said.

As PG&E builds a gas system that is the nation’s safest and most reliable, the company is performing regular inspections of the area above the gas pipeline as well as providing ongoing education, partnering with cities to help build awareness and sharing information with property owners so they understand the shared responsibility to keep the area above the pipeline safe and clear.

For more information about the Community Pipeline Safety Initiative, as well as other ongoing gas safety efforts, visit www.pge.com/GasSafety.

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