On November 15th, PG&E responded to a joint letter from RCRC and CSAC urging the utility to immediately resume hauling away trees cut down during vegetation management operations.
On October 31st, RCRC and CSAC sent a letter to PG&E’s CEO, Patricia Poppe, outlining local concerns about the utility’s widespread refusal to haul away felled wood. RCRC and CSAC subsequently wrote to the Public Utilities Commission, urging regulators to require PG&E to condition its exit from an open enforcement process on a commitment to remove felled wood at the request of property owners. The Commission responded favorably to our request and tabled Resolution M-4864, which would have let PG&E exit Step 1 of that enforcement process, until a future date.
In their letter to RCRC and CSAC, PG&E noted that it resumed its wood management program at the end of August. PG&E will determine regional points of contact for property owners to have felled wood removed, but noted that residents can either contact email@example.com, call 1-800-687-5720, or visit the Wildfire Wood Management Program webpage in the meantime.
In response to concerns expressed about contractors leaving trees and chips within defensible space perimeters, PG&E indicated it will continue to remove felled wood within 100’ of a structure “when a property owner provides the appropriate consent”. It further stated its current practice is to leave wood chips to an average depth of less than 18”, despite defensible space restrictions on the accumulation of chips and fuel.
RCRC and CSAC expect to meet with PG&E in the near future to further discuss its vegetation management and wood haul programs and attempt to resolve local concerns.
For more information, contact RCRC Policy Advocate John Kennedy.