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.
The failure by PG&E to provide a safe and reliable electric system is untenable. This is especially true when PG&E’s focus on Enhanced Vegetation Management (basically removing any and all trees that might threaten its unsafe, antiquated distribution lines, without regard for the disastrous environmental impacts), and on the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) which are truly the only effective way to prevent wildfires (turning off the electricity). EVM and PSPS started in 2018, after being approved in 2017 by the CPUC as PG&E’s “Wildfire Safety Plan,” in spite of having no metrics of efficacy or analyses of risks and benefits or environmental issues.
In contrast, Southern California Edison (SCE), admitted after a Risk Assessment that its antiquated, bare powerlines were the cause of its disastrous wildfires. In response, it tested a variety of covered conductors (wires or powerlines) and concluded that it would only use steel-core reinforced, triple-insulated conductors for all distribution lines. This was also approved by the CPUC in 2017 and implemented as SCE’s Covered Conductor Wildfire Plan in 2018.
In a workshop in February 2019, SCE presented the CCWP and the remarkable effectiveness of CC, summarized in the pdf below. You will find it quite convincing. There is no surprise why SCE has accelerated the total renovation of its distribution system, with new poles, wires, and all the other equipment, making PSPS and EVM no longer necessary, and proving to protect against virtually all wildfire ignition drivers.
While PG&E is “hardening" less than 200 miles per year, SCE is totally upgrading its system at 5,000 miles in three years. SCE has demonstrated that the cost is far below undergrounding and EVM — no less the massive savings from wildfire liability.