The Environmental Committee works to protect the watershed and to educate the public on forestry issues, erosion control, hazardous waste, recycling, and other issues. We also monitor government policies and procedures.
PG&E is a high priority for the Environmental Committee due to its massive and destructive felling of trees to prevent wildfires when unsafe, unreliable, antiquated equipment is the fundamental cause of the fires. From working on legislation and a new Franchise Agreement for PG&E in the County to in-depth research and analysis to support work with agencies affecting PG&E and helping folks protect their trees from PG&E’s contractors, this keeps the group busy. We work with a State-wide Utility Wildfire Prevention Taskforce on these issues.
Your help is needed.
Visit https://endpowerlinefires.com for more information.
River & Road Clean Up
with Save Our Shores
Annual Environmental Town Hall
Felton Community Hall
First Saturday of the month
Second Saturday if the first Saturday is a holiday weekend.
10:30 am at VWC Office at Highlands Park Senior Center
On Zoom and in-person. Email for Zoom info.
Meetings are open to the public.
Call 338-6578 or email for information.
PG&E was granted the franchise to provide gas and electric power in Santa Cruz County, taking over from Coast Counties Gas & Electric on August 30, 1955! The Franchise Agreement (FA) with PG&E is outdated and inadequate. It must be renegotiated to address the current Values of the Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan to improve safety and reliability, to benefit residents, businesses, and the government, and to protect the environment.
The VWC’s Environmental Committee (EC) has already taken on the task of analyzing and evaluating the current FA, defining the arguments to initiate negotiations quickly, and presenting them to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. The analyses and research results have provided the information for a RATIONALE for SANTA CRUZ COUNTY to REQUIRE a NEW FRANCHISE AGREEMENT with PG&E for Board members to consider that identifies the severe problems that we are forced to live with that a new FA could help ameliorate.
The EC has already reached out to our 5th District Supervisor, Bruce McPherson, and has met on Zoom with him and his Analysts, J.M.Brown and Gine Johnson, to introduce the idea. The Zoom meeting was productive and positive. We are following up with the Rationale and other documents to address the questions Supervisor McPherson and his staff asked – including the recent successful negotiation by the City of San Diego for a new franchise agreement with San Diego Gas and Electric. (Read the summary of the agreement in the Mayor’s press release.)
The next step is to reach out to our four other County Supervisors to make sure they understand the severity of the current problems with PG&E and how a new FA could help and encourage the Board to initiate the process of creating a new FA.
We will need outreach to create a broad coalition in support of a new FA. If you are affiliated with an organization, business, or agency that would like to see changes in how PG&E deals with Santa Cruz County, please email EC Chair Nancy Macy or call or text at 831 345-1555.