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Natural Gas Leak Near Cardinal Point Fixed

Mariner Square area residents were told to "shelter in place" until a leaking relief valve was repaired by PG&E workers

A natural gas leak alert near the assisted living community at 2431 Mariner Square Dr. was lifted Wednesday evening after PG&E workers secured a leaking relief valve, according to an Alameda fire Department news bulletin. Nearby residents had been told to "shelter in place" and remain indoors.

The leak was reported at 5:08 p.m., an Alameda Fire Department dispatcher said.

According to the AFD bulletin, a large (about 4-inch) natural gas relief valve was off-gassing.

A PG&E spokesman said Wednesday night that the problem was caused by a generator at a cogeneration plant that is supplied with natural gas by PG&E. When the generator shut off, natural gas was sent back through PG&E lines. That triggered the relief valve to release the excess gas, the spokesman said.

"It's set up as a safety precaution," he said. "Everything worked as it is supposed to."

He said PG&E workers arrived on scene at 5:44 p.m. All excess gas had already been released by that time, he said.

The spokesman could not immediately identify the cogeneration plant where the problem originated. According to the California Cogeneration Council, cogeneration plants are operated by mainly by private businesses and use natural gas to generate both electricity and thermal energy.

Many Alameda residents were notified of the leak by via the city's CodeRED phone system.

Although the problem was reported to the Alameda Fire Department at 5:08 p.m. and to PG&E at 5:16 p.m., several local residents told Alameda Patch that they received their CodeRED "shelter in place" calls around 6 p.m.

CAREcakes May 17, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Alameda needs to look into their CodeRED system. I live in California Heritage Bay off of Marina Village Pkwy & Constitution which is right near Mariner Square. I never received a phone call. I have friends who live on the opposite side of Alameda that received calls about the shelter in place.
Doug Biggs May 17, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I received my call at 5:51 pm. I think it was a great initial test of the CodeRED system, and showed some improvements that need to be made. I live on Haight near Webster, and work out at Alameda Point. The message only said this is the Alameda Police, there is a natural gas leak and a shelter in place warning. There was no mention of address, so I didn't know if this was applicable to my home, work or both. When I called dispatch they very readily let me know the location. They should have included it in the initial message.
Kristen Hipol May 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I got the call at around 6pm and I feel I was far enough away at Lincoln and Stanton and I should not have had to "shelter in place". When we had heard nothing by 7:15, I called the police department and they said it was cleared and we should have received a call telling us such. We never received an "all clear" call. I wonder if any residents were frightened and huddled in fear all night?

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