PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

PG&E Chapter 11 Update

Natural Resource Stewardship

PG&E is one of the largest land owners in California. As such, we have made environmental stewardship a core component of our business. We work 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

PG&E employs a variety of methods to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, including Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP).

PG&E completed the San Francisco Bay Area HCP, which 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. PG&E is currently developing a multi-region HCP, which will cover the remaining service area.

PG&E also 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.

2018 Milestones

In 2018, our efforts included:

  • Permanently protected 13,971 acres of land by completing 10 Land Conservation Commitment transactions. Conservation easements were recorded on seven separate PG&E properties, including the protection of 7,060 acres in the Mountain Meadows watershed. Fee donations to the U.S. Forest Service and Fall River Valley Community Services District were completed on three separate PG&E properties.
  • Expanded a low-effect habitat conservation plan to support operations. The original plan was signed in 2017 to allow long-term operations and maintenance activities to proceed without additional permitting across approximately 20 acres. We updated the plan in 2018 to create additional aquatic breeding habitat specifically for the California red-legged frog. We successfully expanded a preserve for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, and provided funding for additional management, maintenance and monitoring of a salamander breeding pond for 20 years.
  • Updated and consolidated permits on National Forest System lands. After two years of collaborative effort, the U.S. Forest Service, PG&E and Southern California Edison updated and consolidated hundreds of permits on National Forest Service lands and developed a standardized framework for review and approval of work activities. Doing so helps PG&E meet our compliance requirements to maintain our facilities on these lands, thereby reducing wildfire risk while protecting natural and cultural resources in the forests.
  • Planted over 4,000 trees on the San Joaquin/Stanislaus River and Kern River. PG&E planted trees in riparian areas, after converting the sites from agriculture, to create a tree credit bank related to a programmatic permit in the San Joaquin Valley. The two projects restored approximately 25 acres of agricultural lands back to riparian corridor.
  • Purchased over 600 acres of vernal pool landscape in western Placer County. The property is slated to be used as part of our multi-region HCP mitigation portfolio. Conservation on the property will provide perpetual management and conservation for vernal pool-associated plants and animals.
  • Construction and restoration of San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog habitat in southern San Mateo County. PG&E provided support and funding in partnership with a resource conservation district to develop 65 acres of breeding habitat, enhance aquatic habitat and restore upland habitat to benefit listed species as part of the Bay Area HCP mitigation portfolio.
  • Purchased over 690 acres of multispecies credits in Solano County. As part of the mitigation portfolio for the Bay Area HCP, PG&E made a large credit purchase toward the 30-year conservation goal for vernal pool crustaceans, Delta green ground beetle and California tiger salamander.

Measuring Progress

PG&E restores and protects environmental habitats to fulfill state and federal regulatory requirements and to support voluntary environmental initiatives. In 2018, our efforts protected or restored 14,687 acres of habitat and 8.6 miles of stream and river riparian vegetation.

Protected and Restored Habitat Footnote 1
2016 2017 2018
Acres set aside and protected 3,656 acres 8,309 acres 13,971 acres
Acres of restored habitat 748.1 acres 1,269 acres 716 acres
Miles of stream and river riparian vegetation protected 8.6 miles 8.6 miles 8.6 miles
  • 1. PG&E undertook these activities to meet various regulatory requirements.1

Protecting Birds

Since 2002, PG&E has made more than 35,400 existing power poles and towers bird-safe. In that time, we have also retrofitted nearly 36,500 power poles in areas where bird injuries or fatalities or bird-related power outages have occurred. All new poles and replacement poles in our designated “Raptor Concentration Zone” are also built to be bird-safe.

Bird Protection Program (Bird-Safe Retrofits)
2016 2017 2018
Poles Planned 2,000 2,000 2,000
Poles Completed 2,068 2,151 2,329
% Poles Completed 103% 107% 116%