Frequently asked questions
PG&E claims trees are dangerous to underground pipelines. Is that true?
Trees are not a major threat category that PG&E factors in their risk analysis. PG&E confirms that tree roots have never experienced a transmission pipeline accident anywhere in their system at any time. PG&E's studies do not determine that tree roots cause corrosion or cracking on their pipelines. PG&E's major causes of accidents are: third-party dig-ins, manufacturing defects, and incorrect operation. For safety-related information can be found here: Safety Risk of Trees.
Do trees inhibit first responder access to pipelines in an emergency, as PG&E claims?
Is the removal of these 272 trees an urgent safety concern?
PG&E said one of my private trees is designated for removal. Do I need to sign their agreement?
As a resident with a tree on private property, you have NO REQUIREMENT to sign an agreement with PG&E to remove your tree. This is the law (Clarification PI-ZZ-49), and PG&E cannot require any private tree removal unless it's an emergency. You may find it helpful to look at the original easement language that should have been disclosed when you purchased your property. Most easement agreements do not give PG&E permission to cut trees, and therefore, PG&E has no legal right to do so.
What are the other options to cutting down our trees?
PG&E should verify the integrity of the pipeline with expanded hydrostatic pressure testing and/or in-line inspections. Additionally, PG&E should install more cathodic protection stations to hinder the corrosion of their steel pipeline. PG&E should fix identified leaks in their pipeline, and should an accident occur, PG&E should have a greater number of automated valves to quickly isolate the loss of gas containment.
Shouldn't we trust PG&E, since they say they've achieved "gas safety excellence" in the past six years?
Following PG&E’s 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, the company pledged multiple improvements that would transform PG&E into the safest gas company in the United States. We explored what progress PG&E has made in fulfilling this promise, and compared their gas safety performance rank today relative to their industry peers. See more information in our analysis paper: PG&E Gas Pipeline Safety Performance