PG&E threatens residents with legal action | January 25, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - January 25, 2013

PG&E threatens residents with legal action

Some say they will fight to keep backyard vegetation

by Daniel DeBolt

Residents who want a large Pacific Gas & Electric gas pipeline removed from their backyards have received a letter threatening legal action if they do not comply with efforts to strip their backyards of trees and bushes that sit over the pipeline right-of-way.

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Posted by MV-Refugee
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:19 am

Upon hearing reports that PG&E was threatening to take action against homeowners in MV for offending vegetation over a pipeline, I hit a personal "PG&E Trifecta." Last weekend while taking one of my routine walks in Grass Valley in the Gold Country, I noticed once again the dozens of pine trees at road's edge that had been topped. Their straight, upward growth truncated abruptly. Some of these cuts had been made recently, while some had been made a few years ago. I think PG&E calls it "vegetation management." "Tree Disfigurement" would be a better term. I value my electrical service, and I know that trees and electrical lines don't always coexist well, especially during storms. Pruning needs to occur, but topping or hacking a pine tree across the trunk makes little sense - even if it's adjacent to a residential type power line. A truncated tree seeks to grow upward again, and often does so randomly by shooting bushy growth toward the lines the utility seeks to protect. Even worse, some of the topped trees aren't even close enough to the line to warrant the topping. Strategically pruning branches would make more sense, leaving the tree and generating less slash to haul away -- assuming the pruning crew hauls all of it away. Often, they don't... The second leg of my personal "PG&E Trifecta" was the "Oakland Gnome Controversy" described in the Sunday Chronicle. Someone is painting pictures of gnomes on boards and screwing the boards to the bases of utility poles. Of course, PG&E is upset. A PG&E spokesperson claimed that screwing the boards into the power poles affects their "integrity." (I think the spokesman was referring to the poles and not PG&E.) However, that same spokesperson didn't comment on yard and garage sale placards or postings for lost pets stapled or nailed to the poles... Finally, my trifecta was complete when I read about the conflict between MV homeowners and PG&E regarding the vegetation over a pipeline. PG&E appears to have regained its footing after the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion and is ready spin the resulting safety momentum in its favor. It's a clever move against folks who want a section of aged pipeline moved. PG&E claims the offending vegetation prohibits aerial monitoring of the pipeline's integrity. I can't comment on the efficacy of moving the pipeline, but I think PG&E could monitor that section -- and others -- from the ground. But, I see the problem. Not only would PG&E have to abandon the fly-overs, but it would mean getting off its high horse...

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Posted by Maria
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm


I have been in litigation with P G & E since 2005.
The main issue was where they put the service line extension on my property.
They refused to move it unless I paid for it. I refused and it has been before the California Public Utilities Commission for more than 2 years.

As a result of the initial issue there have been 2 more issues.

They forced me to sign a contract in which they charged me Income Tax Contribution. That is for developers with new lines.
They turned off my gas service for more than a month. No stove, hot water for washing.

P G & E wants to put their gas service line extension in the middle of my driveway where it will be cemented over. They will not be able to inspect and maintain it.

I can be of help please let me know.

By the way, P G & E actually put an overflow control valve on the wrong end of the gas pipe. The bell hole and trench had to be re-excavated to correct the problem.


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Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Will someone please post the website to Stop PG$E and protect the trees? I looked and can't find it.
Thank you.

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