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Speier Urges Reform in the Wake of NTSB/PG&E Hearing

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Stephanie Martin: Now that federal safety inspectors have wrapped up their investigation of the San Bruno gas pipeline disaster, Congresswoman Jackie Speier says it's time to close a federal loophole that left the pipeline uninspected. KQED's Cy Musiker reports.

Cy Musiker: Congress is not in session, but Speier was in Washington yesterday for the safety board hearing.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier: The first thing we can do is to make sure we change the law.

Musiker: When Congress resumes its session in September, Speier plans to introduce a bill to revoke a law Congress approved in 1970: exempting older gas pipelines from inspection.

Speier: That will get rid of the grandfathering clause that has allowed many of these pipes never to be inspected -- whether or not they're safe or not.

Musiker: Even some pipelines dating to the 1890s.

But Speier says she worries the Congress will water down any new regulations.

In California, state regulators have ordered PG&E to conduct high-pressure water tests on many sections of pipeline for which PG&E lacks records.

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