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PG&E gas line leaks higher than average

Pacific Gas & Electric has reported gas leaks on lines near large populated areas at a rate nearly six times those of other large pipeline systems across the country.

Federal records indicate PG&E has reported 38 leaks since 2004 along more than 1,000 miles of lines controlled by the utility near environmentally sensitive areas and population centers, according to CBS 5.

The utility has an annual average leak rate of 6.2 per 1,000 miles of line serving "high consequence" areas, which is more than six times the average leak rate for the nation's six other large operators, according to the Los Angeles Times.

PG&E has reported a 40 percent increase of gas leaks while reported gas leaks have fallen 30 percent nationwide in recent years.

The state's other large gas company, Southern California Gas, has a average leak rate of 2.3 per 1,000 miles, close to the national average for large operators.

Records indicate that equipment problems and corrosion are the leading causes of leaks in PG&E's transmission pipelines in high consequence areas. 

PG&E has asked federal regulators to address inconsistent gas leak reporting requirements.