The City of San Francisco has sued the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT ) alleging that the agency’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMS A) was negligent in supervising state regulatory agencies and public utilities, which left gas pipeline operators in California unregulated, and purportedly contributed to a natural gas pipeline rupture and explosion. San Francisco v. DOT, No. N/A (N.D. Cal. filed 2/14/12). The complaint alleges that PHMS A has violated the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act by failing to oversee the California Public Utilities Commission’s pipeline safety program and seeks a court order requiring the agency to fulfill its duties under the Act. It also asks the court to order DOT “only to disburse federal funds to a state authority that are reasonably required to carry out a pipeline safety program.” On September 9, 2010, a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pipeline ruptured and exploded in San Bruno, killing several people and leveling 38 homes.
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San Francisco sues DOT over natural gas pipeline explosion
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