"Aging Gas Pipe at Risk of Explosion Nationwide"

"SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The tragic explosion of a gas pipeline  in a San Francisco suburb has shed light on a problem usually kept underground: Communities have expanded over pipes built decades earlier when no one lived there.

Utilities have been under pressure for years to better inspect and replace aging gas pipes — many of them laid years before sprawling communities were erected around them — that now are at risk of leaking or erupting.

But the effort has fallen short. Critics say the regulatory system is ripe for problems because the government largely leaves it up to the companies to do inspections, and utilities are reluctant to spend the money necessary to properly fix and replace decrepit pipelines."

Garance Burke and Jason Dearen report for the Associated Press September 14, 2010.

Source: AP, 09/14/2010