PG&E, city council to talk tree removal

Utility's proposal calls for about 200 trees in the city to be taken out

PG&E representatives are set to meet with the San Ramon City Council and city residents Tuesday night (April 22) to discuss the company's proposal to remove trees, trim vegetation and address other obstructions around its natural gas transmission pipes.

The PG&E Pipeline Pathways Program proposes to remove about 200 trees in San Ramon on public and private property, according to city staff.

The project, which PG&E says is aimed at enhancing the safety and operation of its natural gas transmission system, has become a point of contention for some Bay Area cities and landowners who oppose the tree removals and other actions by the utility company.

The public discussion about the Pipeline Pathways Program, and its potential impact on San Ramon, is listed among several open-session items on Tuesday's city council agenda. The meeting is scheduled to convene at 7 p.m. inside San Ramon City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon.

In other business, the council will discuss whether to appropriate $55,000 from the city beautification fund to the Iron Horse Trail Landscaping Project for environmental mitigation requirements and contingency costs.

Mayor Bill Clarkson will give special recognition to employees Melissa Rojas, Maureen Klausner and Janice Keller. Police Chief Joe Gorton will recognize the graduates of the San Ramon Citizens Police Academy.

The council will consider accepting two annual reports: the General Plan implementation work plan and schedule, and the 2014 Climate Action Plan for the 2013 reporting period.

Council members will discuss whether to appoint 23 applicants to the city's Teen Council. City staff will also provide an update on the City Hall construction project.


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Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:35 am

PG&E work force to cut back seems to come ONLY after the disaster in San Bruno.

Why NOW?

Surely the money to be wasted in removing can easily be lessened by inspecting the pipes using the high tech cameras to review potential breaks in the lines and then make better determinations of what part of the line is in serious trouble due to plants/trees.

It ALSO IS EVIDENT that the gas lines in San Bruno were doomed NOT BECAUSE OF TREES OR ROOTS BUT by faulty construction and careless welding along with careless monitoring of gas lines.

Removal does not do away with due diligence which wasn't done in San Bruno, and can be done all over where gas lines are.

CEO failure is now translated to CUT THEM ALL DOWN.

Its the slash and burn theory which doesn't have to be done to justify the failure of PG&E'S CEO and those in charged.

Now PG&E failure brings retaliation based on the notion of Public Safety which PG&E never did in the past.

So for as long as the San Bruno gas lines functioned there was no problem UNTIL the installation seams failed. ALL DUE TO FAILED INSTALLATION work, failed inspection work at time of installation, failed due diligence, failed mindfulness of public safety at that time.

Now PG&E wants to retaliate against the public by claiming public safety to use the Slash and Burn approach in all other places.

Failed leadership, failed installation inspections, failed care, failed concerned for public safety, failed crews who knew what was taking place, failed ability to blow the whistle on what was happening, NOW brings the sledge hammer to nail the public concern.

Over kill, over reaction, over frustration, over judgement, over destruction over public safety, concern, and landscape.

Who payes those PG&E CEOs? How much? And WHY?

PLEASE seriously consider what has just been said.

There must be better ways to deal with this?

Or does PG&E suspect that seams in all over lines are due to fail for lack of proper care from day one????

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

Hey Mr. Frankly you sound like a broken record...Enough is enough...PG&E is doing a great job delivering power and natural gas to our homes. Forget about San Bruno, PG&E is handling that matter.

Your comment is very long and boring and lacks substance... Without PG&E we would all be in a world of hurt. Instead of throwing rocks at PG&E, praise them for all the great work they do every single day.

Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo

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Posted by Dont need PGE
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Moved to solar several years ago. PGE is full of incompetent employees!

Looks like they have taken some lessons from San Bruno and are trying to avoid such problems in the future is a good idea.

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Posted by commonsense
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm


You seem to have an opinion about everything, including everyone else's opinion. Perhaps Frankly didn't voice it clearly enough for you, but he was talking about having to cut down trees because PGE feels they need to do that to ensure everyone's safety. Frankly is wasn't invading roots from trees that caused the explosion in San Bruno. It was the welds, as he noted.

If PGE wants to ensure the safety of the pipes, and I know that they do, they should use technology to do so, without cutting down trees. They can easily use cameras in pipes to determine if roots are causing a problem. Or, if they determine there is a problem at some point in the pipe, they can then cut down only the trees that they need to in order to excavate. It's just common sense.

Open your eyes just a little'll sound less like a kook.

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Posted by LIz
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Well said commonsense. I suspect PG&E wants to cut down trees to reduce cost to the shareholders. Not acceptable in my opinion. They should use the available technology (even if it costs their shareholders more) rather than removing trees that have grown to the point where they provide beauty and shade in our communities!! If the rate payers were to bear the cost, I'll bet their approach would be different. Leave our trees alone!!

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Apr 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

What is it that compels you to embarrass yourself on a daily basis Julia? Why don't you go knock on some doors in San Bruno and tell whoever answers to "Forget about it, PG&E is handling that matter".
If you didn't spend so much time publicly displaying your ignorance on these boards, you might have had the time to read the 50+ articles published in the SF Chronicle regarding the total failure in all aspects of the PG&E / San Bruno debacle - and to the vast degree that they were NOT "handling" it.
I know reading takes a bit of fancy ed-you-ka-shun, but remedial understanding of the English language starts at home Julia.

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Posted by ImPasta
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

There is no such real person named Julia Pardini in Alamo. The name is a fake and the person is a shill.

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Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 25, 2014 at 7:28 am

As to PG&E doing a good job, State Utility Commission itself had finally declared that the San Bruno gas explosion was a result of poor wielding done at time of original installation AND NOT TREE ROOTS.

Investigators had also REPORTED that the explosion had more to do with poor quality installation due to very poorly done wielding done initially then anything else.

Where do some people keep their heads buried?

Poor Quality Installation was the final report: NOTHING ELSE!!!!!

Who contracted, authorized, supervised and watched over the installation????

Kids in the neighborhood? Residents along the route? Famous Seagulls doing flybys?

Of course not!!!!!

It wouldnt take a Supreme Court Decision to figure this one out!!


Now they want vengeance!!!!! They also have just been declared legally at fault and are to be heavily fined for those failures!!!!

Oh my, how some undo themselves to find nice things to say when reality sticks them in the face!!!!

Hope all remember all of this!! Since unfortunately the PUC and PGE have had too cozy a relationship: each not doing what its supposed to do.

Keep a watchful eye, they could put your place at high risk for lack of due diligence.

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Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2014 at 9:37 am


I do believe that PGE, as an entity, has much to do in the way of securing the reliability of it's infrastructure principally for the safety of it's customers and the community it serves - not necessarily in that order.

When you critique and vilify the installation oversight, rationale jurist minds will surely find today's PGE fully culpable. However, we all need to recall that the specific pipeline which gave Genesis to such a horrible event was installed in 1956 which then failed 54 years later (2010). In field radiographic (x-ray) examination (a common tool today) was not common then. This technique in the hands of a skilled analyst would had been quite likely to have determined the reported flaws induced during welding which have been similarly reported as the primary cause of failure. The bigger problem that we all face is one of the most common misconceptions in our society. It is that systems, more specifically engineered things that do some sort of work, just last forever.

Much of the infrastructure (dams, bridges, power distribution, Interstates, etc.) that we rely upon today to be reliable was swept in during and just after the Eisenhower administration and for good reason. The world was recovering from WWII and we were capitalizing on every aspect of it. Some of that infrastructure came in during the Roosevelt (2nd) administration. Anecdotally, we all just saw the opening of a portion of 1937's Bay Bridge as an example of needed replacement. Of course, that brought a healthy offering of critique and begrudging cost assessments. Few to none, especially amongst those who regularly comment here (probably you, in particular), are willing to give anymore of their treasure so that generations long after all of us are dust will inherit a high functioning, highly reliable public works. The public rarely 'works' that way...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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