Mayors from Concord, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Martinez, and four other cities and towns around the East Bay are speaking out against PG&E’s proposal to remove thousands of trees (1,729 local trees) to clear a pathway above its pipeline.
The mayors wrote a letter to PG&E demanding a meeting with the company.
“Because we are entrusted with protecting our respective communities’ values, we, the undersigned mayors and elected officials of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, request a meeting with you immediately to discuss your company’s Pipeline Pathways project”, the letter said.
The letter was signed by the Mayors of Concord, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Martinez, Danville, El Cerrito, Pleasanton and Lafayette.
“We are aware of the access concerns purportedly driving this project, but the project will have significant and irreversible impacts on the character of our communities. The need to meet to discuss the project is urgent, as your company has already been contacting residents in our communities. In pursuing the project, PG&E has indicated a willingness to “work with” local jurisdictions, but it does not do so. Instead, PG&E has declared that the cities and counties must, without exercising any discretion, grant permits and authorizations for PG&E’s tree and vegetation removal activities. PG&E has utterly failed to demonstrate a safety need for this project. The failure makes it appear that the project is driven instead by convenience and cost savings associated with having clear access to the pathways”, the letter said.
“From our view point, that seems an insufficient justification for the great community harm to be caused. If PG&E gets its way, thousands of trees would be removed in the East Bay with virtually no oversight. PG&E’s current posture, beyond being legally incorrect, is unacceptable to the City and the public. PG&E can do better, and we demand it take immediate steps to do so. Our attorneys have informed us that the legal assertions the project is premised upon are incorrect. PG&E does not have the unilateral right under its gas franchise agreements to remove trees in the public right of way. Instead, PG&E needs our authorization to remove such trees. Our attorneys have also concluded, once again directly contrary to PG&E’s assertions, that local tree removal requirements apply to PG&E’s gas pipeline projects. Notably, it has been the experience of many communities in the past that PG&E has complied with tree removal permitting processes”, the Mayors said.
Locally, in the cities around Claycord, PG&E is proposing to remove 734 trees in Walnut Creek, in Concord they are proposing the removal of 730 trees, and in Martinez PG&E is proposing to remove 265 trees and 241 bushes. In Clayton, City Manager Gary Napper tells Claycord.com even though the letter was signed by the Mayor of Clayton, at this time PG&E has no plans to remove any trees within the Clayton City limits.
To view maps of where PG&E is proposing to remove the trees and bushes, please click on the link for each city listed below.
Be sure to view the maps to see if your neighborhood is affected by this plan.
- CONCORD - 730 trees
- WALNUT CREEK - 734 trees
- MARTINEZ - (scroll to page #4) – 265 trees & 241 bushes
- Letter TO PG&E from Concord City Attorney Mark Coon
- Letter FROM PG&E in Response to Concord’s Letter