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PG&E to evaluate trees atop gas lines in Nevada County

Through the Community Pipeline Safety Initiative, PG&E identifies trees atop transmission lines which might pose a safety concern to customers during an emergency event.
Submitted by PG&E |

AREAS TO BE ADDRESSED

PG&E has identified some general areas in Nevada County and Grass Valley where trees growing near gas lines could be problematic.

Nevada County

Spenceville Road between Oak Meadow Road and Elnora Drive.

Penn Valley Drive between Quail Lane and Clover Road.

Rough and Ready Highway between Eric W. Rood Memorial Expressway and Harvest Lane.

Ridge Road between Adam Avenue and Glenwood Road.

Adam Avenue between Squirrel Creek Road and Ridge road.

Rex Reservoir Road between Gamble Court and Dixon Road

Squirrel Creek Road between Proctor Court and Cone Tree Trail

Grass Valley

Ridge Road between Deeken Court and Morgan Ranch Drive.

Some customers from Nevada County and Grass Valley will soon be getting a letter from Pacific Gas & Electric Company about a safety initiative.

“(The) program is designed to ensure that first responders, like firefighters, have the access they need to PG&E’s gas transmission lines in the event of an emergency or a natural disaster,” said PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith.

The Community Pipeline Safety initiative, launched by the utility company several years ago, identifies and replants trees close to gas transmission lines within its service territory, at no cost to customers.



Smith compares the principle behind the initiative to the concept of a fire hydrant.

“It’s not that the fire department needs access to that hydrant on a daily or a weekly basis, but in the event of an emergency or a fire,” Smith said. “They need that access quickly, immediately, and they need it unobstructed in order to make the site safe as quickly as possible.”




Altogether, surveyors have reviewed 524 trees on public properties in Nevada County. Among those, 28 are so close to gas transmission lines that they need to be replaced, Smith said.

In terms of private properties, there are 72 customers in Nevada County and 22 within Grass Valley that the company has identified as warranting an inspection. These customers will receive a letter from the company during the latter part of August requesting reviews of their vegetation.

“If they do have trees that need to be replaced, we will work with them on a plan to replace those,” Smith said, adding, “Anytime we do identify a tree that does pose a safety concern, we will replace and replant a tree elsewhere on the property, or elsewhere in the community on public property to replace or replant any trees that may be a safety concern.”

Smith said all of the trees that warranted reviews in Grass Valley are located on private property. The company has yet to identify trees in Nevada City that pose a potential concern.

He hopes that through this initiative, PG&E will be able to work with customers to help them understand the importance of planting the right trees at the right place, as opposed to directly over transmission lines.

“This will not be an ongoing issue that needs this kind of direct attention but more routine maintenance to ensure folks are planting trees at the appropriate (spots),” Smith said.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email tliu@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4236.


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