Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reaffirmed its Safety Division’s January 2019 approval of SDG&E’s natural gas Pipeline 1600 Test and Replacement projects. With this approval, the CPUC authorizes SDG&E to begin testing and replacing segments of the existing 1949 pipeline to comply with newer California pipeline safety laws and regulations.
The 70-year old natural gas transmission pipeline - Pipeline 1600 - starts near Rainbow near the San Diego County line and connects with other pipelines in Mission Valley. It is one of two transmission pipelines that deliver natural gas to SDG&E customers and is the sole or primary source of natural gas for more than 150,000 customers along the Interstate 15 corridor in the northern part of the county.
Under SDG&E’s approved Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan (PSEP), the 50-mile pipeline will be upgraded through 19 smaller individual projects over a four year period. Approximately 37 miles of pipe in highly populated areas will be replaced with modern pipe, with state-of-the-art safety features. The remaining 13 miles of pipe in more rural areas will be strength-tested.
The first of these 19 projects will begin this month when 2.4 miles of vintage-pipe will be replaced along Midway Drive and Bear Valley Parkway in the City of Escondido and County of San Diego. Extensive work on the design and engineering of these projects has taken place over the past year as well as close coordination with local municipalities and agencies.
SDG&E has also kept elected officials, city and county staff, school districts, local businesses and community organizations informed as the additional review took place. A community open house was also held in December to share information with residents and businesses in Escondido where the first project will take place.
Later this year, additional replacement projects will begin in the communities of Mira Mesa, Serra Mesa and Kearny Mesa. The completion of these 19 pipeline safety projects over the next four years will enhance the safety and reliability of the natural gas transmission system in San Diego County.