200 + Graham Hill Rd Trees Face PGE Ax - sign now to show our determination

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200 + Graham Hill Rd Trees Face PGE Ax - sign now to show our determination

This petition had 1,000 supporters
Barbara Hanson started this petition to Robin Musitelli and

Dear County Supervisors, local City Council Members, and City and County Staff:

I am a resident of Santa Cruz County. I am writing about PG&E’s recent announcement that they intend to remove trees along Graham Hill Road as part of a pipeline safety project.   I understand that they have designated 1,836 trees for inspection and possible removal. The current estimate (it varies and is subject to change) of how many they actually intend to remove appears to be between 200-300 trees.  The types of trees that are slated for possible removal include 76 Ponderosa Pines, 56 Redwoods and 746 Coast Live Oaks.  Many of these trees are tall, beautiful, and growing next to Henry Cowell State Park.

PG&E claims the right to decide what to cut and where. After their negligence in the San Bruno Pipeline disaster (which had nothing to do with vegetation) PG&E claims they need a continuous strip of cleared land over gas transmission lines. This is more than what is necessary for gas line safety. In a meeting recently held at Brook Knoll School they explained that the tree removal is so that they can continue to pump gas while working on a damaged pipeline. An alternative and equally viable procedure would be to shut down the pipeline, evacuate the gas, fix the pipe, and relight pilot lights. This would significantly reduce the number of trees that need to be cut.  I am concerned that PG&E is over-estimating the pipeline risk and under-estimating the damage to our environment.

I am deeply concerned about the negative impacts that the PG&E Pipeline project will have on our community, wildlife, water, air and long–term health and safety, especially during this time of intensifying climate change. I am writing to request that the County and the four cities within the County coordinate to create a framework agreement with PG&E that makes sure our needs and our local and state environmental laws and ordinances are respected and which establishes specific guidelines for potential tree removal and mitigation. I also want PG&E to mark trees that are scheduled for removal to facilitate communication about this process. PG&E plans to start killing our community’s trees within the next month so the need now to act is urgent. I understand that the City of Palo Alto is currently working on such an agreement in coordination with local environmental organizations. The City of Walnut Creek and the City of Hayward also have such agreements.  Santa Cruz County is also worthy of such an agreement and community involvement.

 

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