PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2020

Plan of Reorganization Commitments

Natural Resource Stewardship

As one of the largest landowners in California, environmental stewardship is an essential component of our business. This includes working to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, safeguard watershed lands that we have committed to preserve in perpetuity and manage forested lands to minimize the threat of wildfire.

Our Approach

As we provide safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy to customers, we also strive to be responsible stewards of the lands we own and where we operate. This includes protecting endangered species and enhancing habitat at three PG&E facilities where we have Safe Harbor Agreements: Antioch Dunes in Contra Costa County, Tulare Hill in Santa Clara County and PG&E’s hydro lands in Shasta County.

PG&E also employs Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats.

PG&E’s San Francisco Bay Area HCP protects 18 wildlife species and 13 plant species. Through this plan, PG&E maintains and operates gas and electric infrastructure throughout the nine Bay Area counties while protecting endangered wildlife, plant species and their habitats. In addition, our San Joaquin Valley HCP protects 23 wildlife and 42 plant species within nine counties of the San Joaquin Valley. In 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a Multi-Region HCP, which covers the remaining service area. A Mojave HCP, which is intended to provide incidental take coverage for two species in the desert region, is also under development.

PG&E maintains 52,000 acres of forested land, partnering with local communities in wildfire prevention programs and collecting and storing seeds from PG&E forested lands for future restoration purposes.

Additionally, as part of our Land Conservation Commitment, PG&E is permanently protecting more than 140,000 acres through the donations of fee title and conservation easements on watershed lands to public agencies and qualified conservation organizations. An independent nonprofit organization, the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, identifies the organizations that receive these donations.

2019 Milestones

To expedite and streamline critical wildfire safety and infrastructure work while protecting endangered species and public lands, we achieved the following:

  • Obtained a five-year special use permit from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to streamline inspection and operation and maintenance activities in the park, the most visited National Park in the United States. The permit enables PG&E to conduct wildfire safety and other important maintenance activities with pre-negotiated resource protection measures. It was the first programmatic permit of this kind for the National Parks Service.
  • Received a new policy from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to limit fire risk from power lines crossing BLM-managed public lands. The policy, which has been extended through 2020, allows PG&E to facilitate and expedite operations and maintenance activities necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire by conducting activities without prior authorization; instead, PG&E is required to notify the appropriate BLM Field Office within 30 days of completing the work.
    PG&E also continues to work with the BLM on a programmatic right of way renewal process and operations and maintenance plan.

In support of our Land Conservation Commitment, PG&E:

  • Permanently protected 7,241 acres of land by completing 11 Land Conservation Commitment transactions. Fee donations were completed on five separate PG&E properties, including the donation of 2,325 acres of property at Tásmam Kojóm/Humbug Valley to the Maidu Summit Consortium. Other fee property recipients included the Potter Valley Tribe and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Conservation easements were recorded on six separate PG&E properties.

We also achieved a number of milestones related to our Habitat Conservation Plans and other conservation commitments:

  • Submitted a Multi-Regional Habitat Conservation Plan for review to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once finalized, the plan will to allow our long-term operations and maintenance activities to proceed without additional permitting across 34 counties in California. The plan will create a mechanism to protect 24 animal and 12 plant species, 35 of which are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Actively managed more than 2,700 acres across 19 properties for a variety of species and habitats. This effort is related to new and ongoing conservation commitments.
  • Secured and maintained the rights to conservation and preservation for more than 5,800 acres of habitat for various resources. These future transactions are related to ongoing HCP development efforts and existing HCP conservation goals.
  • Purchased 818 acres of species, habitat or wetland credits for individual and programmatic permits. This represents conservation of habitat for 11 different threatened or endangered species and three riparian/wetland habitat types across PG&E’s service area.
  • Restored, enhanced or created 162 acres of riparian and species habitat. This represents restoration, enhancement or creation of habitat for four threatened or endangered species within PG&E’s service area.

Measuring Progress

PG&E restores and protects environmental habitats to fulfill state and federal regulatory requirements and to support voluntary environmental initiatives. In 2019, our efforts protected or restored 8,222 acres of habitat.

Protected and Restored Habitat Footnote 1
2017 2018 2019
Acres set aside and protected 8,309 acres 13,971 acres 8,060 acre
Acres of restored habitat 1,269 acres 716 acres 162 acres
  • 1. PG&E undertook these activities to meet various regulatory requirements.1

Protecting Birds

Since 2002, PG&E has made more than 36,200 existing power poles and towers bird-safe. In that time, we have also retrofitted nearly 37,400 power poles in areas where bird injuries or fatalities or bird-related outages have occurred. In 2019, more than 7,000 poles in designated “Raptor Concentration Zones” were replaced and built to avian safe construction guidelines.