2002 Environmental Report
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Compliance Performance
  Air Emissions  
  Improving Energy Efficiency For Our Company And Our Customers  
  Promoting Clean-air Transportation  
  Expanding And Promoting The Use Of Renewable Energy Resources  
  Minimizing Water Consumption  
  Reporting Toxic Release Inventory Data  
  Waste Reduction Through Recycling And Beneficial Use  
  Environmental Litigation And Liabilities  

PG&E Corporation’s businesses track and report their annual environmental performance across a broad spectrum of areas. This section details our performance results for 2002.


Environmental compliance results declined in several areas from 2001 to 2002.

PG&E Corporation 2000 2001 2002
Notices of Violation (NOVs) 6 16 20
Releases/Exceedances 405 427 490
Rate of NOVs (per 100 inspections) 1.37 3.07 3.24
Penalties Paid $4,925 $8,975 $6,689

Performance in 2002, however, was better than the average performance of the Corporation measured over the past six years.

Notices of Violation

PG&E Corporation’s businesses received 20 Notices of Violation (NOVs) in 2002, compared with 16 NOVs in 2001 and six in 2000. The rise in NOVs occurred at NEG, which received 10 NOVs in 2002 compared with five in 2001.

In 2002, the Utility received 10 NOVs (compared with 11 in 2001):

  • four air-related incidents,
  • four associated with hazardous waste/material and fire code requirements,
  • one for an oil spill, and
  • one for a biological exceedance of a drinking water permit condition.

In 2002, NEG received 10 NOVs (compared with five in 2001):

  • Five air-related incidents (two of which occurred at the La Paloma Generating facility, under construction in Bakersfield California and two of which were associated with faulty Continuous Environmental Management System software at NEG’s Dispersed Gen facilities in and around San Diego, California),
  • one water-related incident (due to actions of a third-party contractor),
  • two hazardous material incidents, and
  • two natural resources violations (both associated with construction of the North Baja natural gas pipeline).

Agency Inspections

PG&E Corporation’s facilities were inspected 585 times by various government agencies in 2002, up from 526 inspections in 2001. Sixty-three percent of these inspections were at California facilities operated by the Utility.

During 2002, government agencies performed 352 inspections of Utility facilities. Local agencies responsible for enforcing hazardous waste and hazardous materials requirements, such as environmental health departments or fire departments, performed the majority of the inspections. None of the inspections resulted in serious findings.

NEG facilities were inspected 233 times in 2002. Of these inspections, 71 were performed at the Athens Generating facility in New York, and 60 at the Northampton and Scrubgrass fuel sites in Pennsylvania. The remaining 102 inspections assessed air quality compliance (62), water quality compliance (18), and various areas such as hazardous waste, tanks and oil spill response (22). The inspections resulted in 15 findings: air quality (7), emergency response (2), site certification compliance (3), hazardous waste materials management (1), water quality (1) and land use (1). All findings were minor in nature.

Reported Releases

Combined releases to the environment and permit exceedances for Pacific Gas and Electric Company and NEG, as reported to various government agencies, totaled 490. Approximately 24 percent of these releases involved exceedances and/or permit violations of air permit emissions limits, which were identified through PG&E Corporation’s extensive monitoring programs. Another 8 percent involved exceedances of water quality permits. The remaining 68 percent were spill events reportable under numerous local, state and federal release reporting requirements. These requirements typically mandate the reporting of most releases to the environment.

The Utility had 329 reported releases to the environment, an 11 percent increase from 2001. Approximately 89 percent of the releases were land releases and involved small quantities of oil from transformers or other operating equipment. These events are often due to storm damage and transformers ruptured by auto accidents. The 34 releases to water all involved small releases of oil. The Utility reported one exceedance of an air permit and one exceedance of a water permit.

NEG reported a total of 161 releases (emission exceedances) during 2002, a 23 percent increase from 2001. Of the 161 releases, 55 were associated with commissioning (initial start-up) of new units at the La Paloma Generating facility, and 14 releases were associated with the testing of new low-NOx burners at Manchester Street Station in Rhode Island.

Enforcement Penalties and Settlements

In 2002, PG&E Corporation paid $6,689 in enforcement penalties and settlements, compared with $8,975 in 2001. The Utility paid a total of $2,924 in penalties during 2002. NEG paid $3,765 in enforcement penalties in 2002: a settlement of $640 for an SO2 exceedance that occurred in 2001, and a $3,125 penalty for the late filing of the Title V Annual Compliance Certification.