Did you smell it? If you were in South Palo Alto on November 3 or 4th, you weren’t imaging that you smelt gas. The gas odor was what was left from a controlled natural gas release by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). But if you didn’t know that the gas smell was from a controlled release, you might have become concerned that Palo Alto was having a gas leak. But don’t worry, the City of Palo Alto posted on its website that the odor is safe and there was no danger from the odor. The City also posted information for residents on why PG&E was conducting a release of gas into the environment.
According to the city’s website at cityofpaloalto.org, the release of gas in the Mountain View and Palo Alto area was part of a PG&E inspection of the gas transmission system in our area. The smell disappears as the gas dissipates into the air and it is a routine part of checking the transmission pipelines. Part of the process of returning the pipeline safely back to full service is to remove the air from the pipeline by purging it. This causes the gas odor in the air and sometimes loud noises as the pipelines are purged.
Those who have questions or wish to speak to PG &E gas pipeline work, can call 1-800-743-5000.
City of Palo Alto: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/