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PG&E will be flying over Napa gas transmission lines

PG&E will be flying over Napa gas transmission lines

  • Updated
Pacific Gas & Electric helicopters

PG&E will be using helicopters to inspect gas transmission lines in Napa County for leaks next week.

Pacific Gas and Electric will begin conducting aerial patrols of gas transmission pipelines throughout the North Bay, including Napa County, starting on Monday, April 26.

Residents may notice a helicopter flying as low as 300 to 500 feet, or fixed-wing aircraft, following gas transmission lines in Napa and adjacent areas. PG&E conducts monthly aerial patrols of all its gas transmission pipelines in the interest of public safety and system integrity.

A pilot and two observers in up to three different small airplanes will fly about 7,000 – 9,000 feet above gas transmission lines Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Using GPS and live video, a pilot and two observers navigate the pipelines and document excavation and construction activity, or other observations that obstruct rights-of-way.

Where appropriate, PG&E ground personnel are sent to construction areas to verify that safe digging practices are being followed. This includes confirming the use of a valid 811 ticket for proper marking of underground utility lines that help prevent the gas line from being hit.

Also starting Monday, a low-flying Lasen helicopter will inspect transmission lines through the end of the month between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

These semi-annual surveys combine the use of LIDAR-based equipment and state-of-the-art leak detection technology to find gas indications if gas is detected. PG&E personnel are sent to the field to follow up. 

April is National Safe Digging Month and PG&E would like to remind its customers to call 811 or visit before starting outdoor projects where dirt is moved. 811 signals utilities to come to the location to mark all underground lines for free. Contractors with projects of all sizes are required by California Government Code 4216 to call 811, including contractors hired by a homeowner. 

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