FMR. NTSB CHAIR TO EVALUATE PG&E’S SAFETY CULTURE
Hall & Associates will Conduct Comprehensive Review of Utility’s Protocols
WASHINGTON, DC (October 18, 2011) – Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said today that his firm will conduct a thorough evaluation of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s safety culture and actions the company is taking in response to safety recommendations following a fatal explosion last year in San Bruno, California.
Hall & Associates brings decades of expertise in pipeline safety to the effort. In addition to Hall, who led the nation’s premier accident investigation agency for seven years, the evaluation team will include William Scott, an energy professional with 35 years of experience, including as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Colonial Pipeline Company and Robert Chipkevich, who led the NTSB’s hazardous materials investigations for 20 years.
“I look forward to working closely with PG&E to ensure that every strategy the utility can accomplish to prevent future accidents is implemented,” Hall said. “I have been assured that no area of the company’s operations will be off-limits to our inquiries, and that I will have direct access to the Executive Vice President of Gas Operations, the President of PG&E, and the CEO of PG&E Corporation. I also look forward to sharing our findings directly with the California Public Utilities Commission.”
On the evening of September 9, 2010, a gas line operated by PG&E exploded in a residential area of San Bruno, California destroying 38 homes and killing eight people. The NTSB launched an investigation into the accident and issued a series of recommendations. Hall said, “I have already witnessed PG&E commit tremendous resources to implement NTSB recommendations and my colleagues and I intend to follow their progress on these recommendations and those from other investigative agencies, particularly the California Public Utility Commission.”
Speaking to the gravity of the tragic event, Hall said, “This was a watershed accident, not just for PG&E, not just for the people of San Bruno or of California, but for the entire pipeline industry. I am gratified that PG&E’s management has asked us to help the company as it works to build a top-to-bottom culture that puts public safety first.”
During Hall’s years as Chairman of the NTSB, he oversaw a number of major pipeline accident investigations, including fatal accidents in Edison, New Jersey; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Cloud, Minnesota and Bellingham, Washington.
ABOUT HALL & ASSOCIATES - Hall & Associates is a full-service agency with offices in Washington, D.C. and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The firm counsels a broad range of domestic and international clients in the areas of legislative affairs, crisis management, and transportation safety and security. Led by Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Hall & Associates achieves results by taking a comprehensive approach to meeting client objectives. This approach includes a full range of government relations services – including strategic counsel and messaging, developing legislative priorities, monitoring legislative and regulatory developments and trends, and advocacy.