Minimizing Environmental Impacts
from Construction Activities

PG&E uses a temporary portable bridge to cross a seasonal stream, reducing impacts from our vehicles to sensitive vernal pool resources.

PG&E’s infrastructure traverses unique and sensitive habitats. This requires us to take steps to avoid or minimize environmental impacts to these resources when we perform routine maintenance and construction activities.

As an example, we are working to minimize impacts from a major upgrade to 68 miles of transmission lines that span sensitive habitat across three counties, known as the Table-Mountain-Colgate Rio 230 kV transmission line. Over a three-year period, PG&E is installing new conductors on the lines and raising more than 100 transmission towers to meet regulatory requirements. This requires crews to access the towers and infrastructure, often in remote and ecologically sensitive areas home to species such as the Vernal Pool Fairy and Tadpole Shrimp, Swainson’s hawk and giant garter snake.

Working in close cooperation with federal and state resource agencies, we took a number of steps last year to minimize environmental impacts from the project, including:

  • Conducting annual bird surveys prior to construction to identify and avoid nests and closely monitoring nest locations during the project.
  • Installing portable bridges to avoid impacts from vehicles to sensitive vernal pool resources.
  • Installing temporary fencing along 20 miles of right-of-way to prevent impacts to the federal and state threatened giant garter snake, which inhabits a variety of habitat associated with rice farmlands and rice crop fields near our lines.
  • Using helicopters to transport construction crews, equipment and materials to the towers and routing all flight paths at least one-half mile from active bird nests.