2008 Corporate Responsibility Report

How we are creating a smarter foundation for a sustainable future

Environmental Justice

Graduates of the CityBuild Program, a San Francisco workforce training initiative, help PG&E construct a 115 kV transmission line project.

For PG&E, environmental justice means conducting our operations in a way that delivers safe and reliable energy to our customers while maintaining a strong commitment to understanding and respecting the needs of the communities we serve.

Adopted in 2001, PG&E's Environmental Justice policy establishes clear guidelines for working cooperatively with communities to meet this goal—ensuring that our actions are transparent, accountable and responsible and consistently strive to address the concerns of communities. Considering environmental justice is an important part of the way we do business. PG&E is engaged in a continuous effort to work more effectively with our communities to ensure we live up to our commitment to be good neighbors.

We are also helping to address environmental justice concerns at the national level. PG&E serves as a member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a federal advisory group that provides independent advice, consultation and recommendations to the U.S. EPA Administrator on environmental justice matters.

Looking forward, PG&E's environmental justice initiatives will focus on increased and targeted employee training and developing new partnerships to address emerging community challenges and opportunities.

Examples of our environmental justice policy in action during 2008 included the following:

  • Keeping our promise to the community to close Hunters Point Power Plant. Fulfilling our voluntary commitment to residents of the Bayview-Hunters Point community to retire the Hunters Point Power Plant, PG&E closed the aging facility in 2006. PG&E has also committed to remediate the site to meet standards for residential use, becoming one of the first utility companies in the country to do so.

    Last year, we completed the dismantlement of all aboveground structures, marking a significant milestone for PG&E and the local community. For years leading up to the dismantlement, PG&E worked with community members, and continues to maintain open, two-way communication with residents and community leaders. For example, a Project Advisory Committee brings together neighborhood and community leaders on issues surrounding the retirement of the plant. Additionally, in 2009, we will finalize a remedial action plan with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, enabling remediation of the site. This process will allow for review by the community and other interested parties.

    PG&E also continued to demonstrate a firm commitment to hiring from the local community, with, on average, more than 35 percent (6 out of 17) of the on-site contractor dismantlement labor force coming from CityBuild, a local workforce training initiative. Utilizing these local hiring best practices, PG&E also spearheaded a local employment program to support construction of a new 115 kV transmission line located in the same community.

    In 2009, PG&E will begin final belowground demolition activities at the power plant site, followed by a multi-year process to remediate the property. As with the dismantlement, local hiring will continue to be a major component of the workforce strategy for upcoming work.
  • Integrating environmental justice considerations into our review of potential new sources of power generation. As California's population grows, PG&E is preparing for a continued increase in electricity demand. We are committed to meeting this growth in a way that incorporates environmental, community and economic considerations into our decisions.

    PG&E uses a competitive bid process to review and select new sources of electric power for our customers. As part of our due diligence process, we consider a number of factors, including the potential environmental and environmental justice impacts associated with the projects. Consistent with our corporate environmental and environmental justice policies, we strive to minimize these impacts.