WALNUT CREEK -- During a meeting with city leaders Friday, Pacific Gas and Electric agreed not to remove any trees until it reaches agreement with the city on how to proceed.
Although the utility also agreed to give the city a list of the structures it seeks to remove that are on or near the pipeline, it will continue to contact property owners about taking those structures down.
As part of its Pipeline Pathways project to ensure access to its natural gas pipelines, PG&E plans to remove about 735 trees on public and private property in Walnut Creek. Mayor Kristina Lawson said the meeting was a positive step, but she urged PG&E to consider alternatives to cutting down so many trees.
At the meeting, the city asked PG&E to agree not to remove any trees or contact property owners about removing trees; to comply with the city's tree-removal permitting process and environmental regulations; and to work with Walnut Creek's arborist to determine whether each tree targeted for removal is a safety hazard.
The $500 million Pipeline Pathways Project is a statewide initiative to clear obstructions from the utility company's 6,750 miles of gas lines from Bakersfield to Eureka. PG&E says it needs to remove the trees, shrubs and structures on private and public property to ensure pipeline safety -- a top priority in the aftermath of the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.
Lisa P. White covers Concord and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.