Category Archives: PG&E

PG&E Flying Low in Shasta County to Inspect for Dead Trees

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct low-altitude aerial patrols in eastern Shasta County on Wednesday, December 6 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

Flights will occur over and near the communities of Round Mountain and Montgomery Creek. Depending on weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Even with the wet winter last year and recent storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we’ve added enhanced measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Carl Schoenhofer, senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley division.

Every year, PG&E inspects and monitors every overhead electric transmission and distribution line, with some locations patrolled multiple times. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has increased foot and aerial patrols in high fire-risk areas to twice a year and up to four times a year in some locations. Last year, PG&E conducted secondary patrols on 61 percent of power lines, and in 2017, expects to patrol 65 percent of lines a second time.

PG&E is using a local contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground. Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

If patrols identify dead trees, PG&E will send inspectors on foot to verify a tree is dead, and then contact the home or land owner to schedule tree work.

 

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PG&E Donates Swamp Parcel, Ensuring Permanent Conservation of Wetland Habitat

By Paul Moreno

PG&E has donated a large tract of land in the McArthur Swamp under an agreement with conservation groups designed to ensure the parcel will be preserved in perpetuity.

For decades, PG&E has maintained the land in eastern Shasta County to provide both a seasonal wetland habitat and land for cattle grazing in dry seasons.

The parcel of land PG&E donated also supports the local farming economy and provides for recreational uses.

Left largely in its natural state, the 4,491-acre parcel is part of an important feeding and resting spot for ducks and geese along the Pacific Flyway.  The land also supports the local farming economy and provides for waterfowl hunting and other recreational uses including boating in adjacent rivers.

On Oct.18, ownership of the land transferred from PG&E to the Fall River Resource Conservation District. The mission of the California special district is to support private and public landowners in the use and management of natural resources that will ensure the sustained highest economic, social, and environmental benefits of these resources. The transfer was immediately followed by conveyance of a conservation easement ensuring permanent protection of the land to Ducks Unlimited.

“We look forward to working with our partners and the community to continue the good stewardship of the McArthur Swamp exemplified by PG&E and the McArthur Resource Management Association,“ said Mike Millington, a board member of the conservation district.

The land, fed largely by alluvial springs to form the Tule River and Fall River, is located within the ancestral territory of the Ajumawi Band of the Pit River Tribe.

“We are pleased that the McArthur Swamp will be preserved in perpetuity while continuing to provide important environmental and local economic benefits. The cumulative work of the involved partners will ensure this land will be protected and enjoyed for generations to come,” said Mike Schonherr, a director at PG&E who oversees the company’s implementation of the land conservation commitment.

The 4,491-acre parcel is part of an important feeding and resting spot for ducks and geese along the Pacific Flyway.

The Fall River Valley region provides a major wetland linkage for migratory birds between the Klamath Basin and Oregon Closed Basin to the north and wintering grounds in the Central Valley to the south.

“We are very excited that this important habitat conservation project is finally coming to fruition,” said John Ranlett, Duck’s Unlimited’s regional biologist who has been involved in the project for over five years.

The donation is part of PG&E’s land conservation commitment, in fulfillment of an agreement in PG&E’s 2003 bankruptcy settlement that the company will permanently protect all 140,000 acres of its hydro watershed lands. These properties have been kept mostly in their natural state under PG&E’s ownership.

To complete the donation, PG&E worked with the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, the organization established in the settlement to oversee completion of the land conservation commitment.

“We are pleased to support the Fall River RCD and DU in the protection of the many beneficial public values of the McArthur Swamp property,” said Art Baggett, Stewardship Council board president.

PG&E will retain ownership of an additional 3,168 acres at McArthur Swamp for hydropower generation, which will also be protected through a conservation easement held by Ducks Unlimited.  This includes a nearly 500-acre parcel that PG&E restored to a seasonal wetland in 2012.

In fulfillment of the land conservation commitment, PG&E lands have been donated to entities including the U.S. Forest Service, local governments and the University of California, Berkeley. PG&E is retaining the watershed lands necessary for hydropower operations.

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Higher Flows Being Reduced on Portion of Pit River

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has begun reducing higher flows on a portion of the Pit River, and will reduce again to seasonal normal flows in late October.

Flows had been above 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Pit 5 Reach since February while the Pit 5 Powerhouse near Big Bend has been off line. The powerhouse was unable to operate after winter storms deposited gravel and sand in front of the powerhouse’s tailrace, where water exits the powerhouse and returns to the river.

The Pit 5 Reach is the 9.3-mile portion of the Pit River between the Pit 5 Reservoir and the Pit 5 Powerhouse.

Flows in the Pit 5 Reach were reduced from above 2,000 cfs to about 1,300 cfs after one of the four generating units at the powerhouse resumed operation on October 5.  PG&E continues to remove sediment from in front of the tailrace so it can resume operation to the other three generating units at the Pit 5 Powerhouse.

In late October, PG&E expects to resume operations on a second generating unit at the powerhouse, at which point water will stop spilling from the Pit 5 Dam and flows in the Pit 5 Reach will return to about the season normal of about 350 cfs, depending on rainy conditions.

The other two generating units are expected to return to service in late fall.

The Pit 5 Powerhouse Road and the J.B. Black Powerhouse Recreation Area’s boat put-in, take-out remain closed to the public while the Pit 5 Powerhouse Road is repaired. The road was damaged in last winter’s storms should reopen in late fall.

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PG&E to increase water flows on Pit 1 Reach for whitewater recreation

 From PG&E

BURNEY, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will provide higher flows on a portion of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County over the Columbus Day weekend.

The higher flows will occur from October 6-9. Flows will be increased from about 220 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will reach 1,000 cfs by early morning on Friday, October 6, then to as much as 1,150 cfs over the entire four-day period before being gradually reduced starting the late afternoon of Monday, October 9.

Recreationists in or near this portion of the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The flows are not safe for tubing.

The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

The whitewater flows are a requirement of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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Filed under Kayaking, PG&E, Pit River

PG&E Improving Safety along Hat 2 Canal; Area Closed During Work

From PG&E:

BURNEY, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is making safety improvements along a road next to the Hat 2 canal in eastern Shasta County. The area is closed to public access for about six weeks until the project is completed.

A contractor for PG&E will reshape steep bluffs alongside the canal road to reduce the chance of rock falls, slides and other hazards, which pose a safety risk and could put debris into the canal.

To safely do this work, PG&E this week closed public access to the Hat. 2 canal through about October 20.

The Hat Creek Powerhouse No. 2 Road is closed beyond the four-way intersection with Guest Ranch Road.  Due to the road closure, the public will be unable to drive or walk into the area to reach the Hat 2 canal and the northern end of Baum Lake.

Plenty of other fishing areas, such as Hat Creek, most of Baum Lake and areas near Hat Creek Powerhouse No. 1 and its forebay and canal, are still accessible and available for public use.

The Hat 2 canal provides water to generate hydroelectric power at PG&E’s Hat Creek Powerhouse No. 2.


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PG&E’s Pit 5 Powerhouse Road Closed for Safety During Repair Work

REDDING, Calif. —Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) temporarily has closed to the public the Pit 5 Powerhouse Road near Big Bend while a contractor safely repairs road damage caused by winter landslides.

Repairs are expected to be completed by late fall and the road reopened. PG&E owns the 4-mile road, which leads to its Pit 5 powerhouse and James B. Black Day Use Area along the Pit River in eastern Shasta County. The day use area is also closed for the recreation season due to access and storm damage.

The road also leads to the James Black Bridge, which leads to Oak Mountain Road.

The public can still reach Iron Canyon Reservoir via Big Bend Road.

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Filed under PG&E, Pit River

PG&E flying low to patrol for dead trees

From PG&E

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct low-flying helicopter patrols in Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties on June 28 and 29 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

On June 28, flights will occur over the eastern Shasta County communities of Big Bend, Lake Britton, Fall River Mills, Fall River Lake, Cassel, Hat Creek and Old Station.

On June 29, flights will occur from Platina in Shasta County to Wildwood in Trinity County, and over the Tehama County communities of Paynes Creek, Manton, Mill Creek and Mineral. Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for both days.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

Even with the recent winter storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we are taking extraordinary measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Kamran Rasheed, manager, PG&E vegetation management.

Every year, PG&E patrols and inspects all 134,000 miles of its overhead electric lines. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has been inspecting trees along power lines in high fire-danger areas a second time, six months after its annual patrol because weakened trees can die quickly and could fall into power lines and cause an outage or fire.

Last year, PG&E conducted second patrols on 68,000 miles of power line, and in 2017, expects to patrol 73,000 miles of line a second time. The company will patrol about 10,750 of those miles by helicopter.  

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground.

 

 

If patrols identify dead trees, PG&E will send inspectors on foot to verify a tree is dead, and then contact the home or land owner to schedule removal.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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Filed under Big Bend, Burney Basin Days, Lake Britton, PG&E