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Posted on: September 7, 2022

Mandatory Vegetation Safety Work: PG&E to Remove and Trim Trees in Old Mill Park, Cascade Park

Todd Cusimano HeadshotMessage from The City Manager Regarding Mandatory Vegetation Safety Work

Dear Mill Valley Community: I would like to first introduce myself to you all as your new City Manager. I am honored to serve you. I want you to know your City Council and staff are deeply engaged with PG&E and we will protect the safety and preservation of our community to the highest level. Read the entire message from the City Manager.


September 7, 2022

In upcoming weeks, PG&E will conduct vegetation safety work in high fire-threat areas of Mill Valley to keep trees, limbs and branches away from powerlines and electric equipment. To mitigate wildfire hazards, PG&E has the authority to conduct vegetation safety work as deemed necessary, and it does not require City approval.  

PG&E has tentatively identified 225 trees that require trimming, and 227 trees that require removal, from three parks in Mill Valley: Old Mill, Cascade, and Three Wells.

PG&E anticipates the work will commence in late September or October. Customers in the areas of Woodacre, Nicasio, Fairfax and Mill Valley may see crews and contractors inspecting powerlines, marking trees, preparing for necessary tree maintenance, or trimming trees. Before performing tree work, PG&E will share plans with property owners through phone calls, postcards, door knocks and door hangers.

When conducting vegetation safety work, crews will:

  • Prune limbs and branches that overhang the 4-foot clearance zone around powerlines with a recommended 12-foot clearance minimum at time of prune for year-round compliance
  • Cut down dead, diseased, defective or dying trees that pose a risk to powerlines or electric equipment
  • Evaluate the health and condition of trees tall enough to strike powerlines or electric equipment

Impacts to residents:

  • The City will regularly post the streets, dates and times residents can anticipate this work being done. 
  • Residents in the impacted areas can anticipate lane closures, noise and parking restrictions associated with tree trimming/removal activities and equipment.

Questions

PG&E Tree Safety  Phone: 800-564-5080 Email: TreeSafety@pge.com

PG&E is your best point of contact for PG&E’s vegetation safety work. Please refer to the phone number and email above. 

A worker wearing a hardhat and ear protection uses a tool to trim a branch on a tree Frequently Asked Questions


Q: The City of Mill Valley Municipal Code has provisions regarding tree removal. Who has jurisdiction over this project? 

A: The California Public Utilities Commission legally requires utilities, such as PG&E, to maintain minimum, physical clearances around overhead electric facilities and to abate hazards associated with trees or other vegetation that may contact and/or fall into electric facilities.

The CPUC has jurisdiction to supersede the provisions in the Mill Valley Municipal Code regarding tree removal for safety reasons. Recourse is with the CPUC rather than the Mill Valley City Council or local courts.CPUC contact information is available here.

Q: Is the project going through an environmental review prior to work starting?

A: Yes - PG&E will produce a Biological Constraints Review (BCR Report), that will be available for public review. All tree work is conducted in coordination with trained arborists, biologists, and cultural resource specialists to limit environmental impacts and comply with regulation. PG&E also conducts follow-up quality inspections to ensure all necessary safety work has been completed. 

Q: I have an event planned in Old Mill Park. Will this impact my event?  

A: PG&E is working closely with Recreation and Library staff to ensure minimal disruptions to events planned for Old Mill Park. If you have rented Old Mill Parkfor an event, please contact our Park Rentals staff if you have a specific question.

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