PG&E Gas Venting: Noise and Odor Are Normal and Will Dissipate

PG&E is testing a gas line near Ralston Avenue and Highway 92 this afternoon

Residents on the west side of Belmont may smell a gas odor and/or hear noise that are the result of routine maintenance gas venting being conducted by PG&E on Wednesday afternoon. 

Lt. Pat Halleran of the Belmont Police Department said he has received several calls from concerned residents, particularly in the Hallmark neighborhood, who smelled the gas odor. 

"This is a gas venting procedure being conducted by PG&E and the odor and noise are normal and residents should not be concerned. The odor will dissipate shortly," said Halleran.

SMC Alert has sent out notices that the gas venting should be completed by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.


Lisa T September 27, 2012 at 01:27 AM
The smell of gas was really strong on Highland in San Carlos so I called 911--no answer due to high call volume. Then I called the PG&E emergency line and after several minutes and call rollovers I got someone who reported that PG&E was getting a lot of calls about the strong smell. She told me I could evacuate "If I wanted to,"-- she was pretty blase about the whole thing. I left the house with my kids and found lots of neighbors on the street wondering what was going on--they had been told to evacuate. It was only about 20 minutes later I received an alert from SMC about PG&E venting gas today at Ralston and 280. Given our proximity to San Bruno where the explosion took place only two years ago, it would make sense for PG&E to send alerts to customers when work is going to be done. I couldn't even find anything quickly about the venting on the company's website.
Joan S. Dentler (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Wow....thanks for passing that along Lisa. I didn't realize the odor had traveled as far as San Carlos! Very frustrating when trying to get through to a utility company during these situations.
Belmont Resident September 27, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Here's an idea: Maybe (just MAAAAYBE) PG&E should warn people ahead of time that this is going on! I mean really, what could happen if people in the Bay Area smell an overwhelming stench of natural gas? Of course! They'll instantly think: "Gee, they must be performing normal venting and it will pass soon." I mean, it's not like they have any reason to be paranoid that the neighborhood is going to explode. Idiots.
Enough September 27, 2012 at 03:23 AM
It would have been nice to be given notice in advance our whole street evacuated. Even families with newborns. Absolute mess, again PG and E.
Bill Mitchell September 27, 2012 at 03:53 AM
You are kidding.....My wife smelled gas while on a walk near Covington and the Greek Orthodox church - and then found many neighbors out on the street concerned about the same smell. Again, you are kidding....PG&E did this on purpose and didn't tell anyone??? Who is running this company ???? Or, did they notify residents and everyone forgot ? We didn't receive any notice......Bill Mitchell
Cindy September 27, 2012 at 03:55 AM
It was a really strong smell in the Carlmont area. Advance notice like they have done previously would have been useful.
Nancy September 27, 2012 at 05:26 AM
PG&E truck at library and Carlmont Shopping Center near Lunardis round 10pm with lights flashing.
Stacie Chan (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Thanks for the update, Joan! I get alerts from the county by signing up here https://www.smcalert.info/ I got an email and a phone text about the gas smell. It's a really great service.
Denise Nelson October 01, 2012 at 05:28 AM
We received an automated call ahead warning of the venting and possible odor. It was a smart move to avoid confusion for our neighborhood, the Skymont area of Belmont.


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