STATE OF CALIFORNIA
PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70kV Power Line Reconductoring Project

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Application No. A.10-03-006
 

Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the environmental review of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) proposed Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70kV Power Line Reconductoring Project (Project). The proposed Project would improve transmission system reliability and provide peak-period voltage support to the San Luis Obispo County service area. This proposed project includes replacing the existing deteriorating conductors and supporting structures with new light-duty steel (LDS) poles, tubular steel poles (TSPs), and lattice steel towers along an existing 15.5 miles segment of a 70kV power line.

The objective of the proposed Project is to provide high-quality, reliable service to customers along the existing Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70kV power line. The current configuration of this line segment, as well as the regional climate, contributed to the accelerated deterioration of this power line. Installing upgraded conductors and replacing existing poles and towers would substantially improve the long-term reliability of this line segment, as well as service to the area.

The proposed Project is subject to review under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the CPUC is the CEQA Lead Agency. A CEQA review was performed to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with this Project. This website provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA environmental review process.


Application

PG&E’s Application and associated Proponent’s Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70kV Power Line Reconductoring Project may be viewed here.


Project Description

PG&E is proposing to replace the existing deteriorating conductors and supporting structures with new, LDS poles, TSPs, and lattice steel towers along an existing 15.5 mile segment of the Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70 kV power line.

The project is located in San Luis Obispo County, California, between the cities of Atascadero and San Luis Obispo. The project right-of-way (ROW) is aligned roughly north to south, paralleling Highway 101 (US 101) between State Route (SR) 41 and the City of San Luis Obispo. This line connects the Atascadero Substation (located at the intersection of Santa Rosa Road and SR 41/Morro Road in Atascadero) to the San Luis Obispo Substation (located at the intersection of Orcutt Road and Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo).

The primary project elements are summarized below:

    1. Replacing the existing aluminum conductors with a new 715.5 KCmil non-specular all aluminum conductor.

    2. Modifying 137 of the 139 existing poles along the power line. Two existing LDS poles do not need to be replaced. Pole modifications include:
      • Replace 131 existing wood poles with LDS poles
      • Remove the top section of five existing wood poles that provide support for existing distribution conductor
      • Install five new LDS poles, approximately 30 feet away from the aforementioned poles, within the existing alignment
      • Remove one existing wood pole
      • Install one new LDS pole in a new location within the existing power line alignment

    3. Replacing 41 of the existing 45 lattice steel towers with 36 new lattice steel towers and five TSPs along power line. Two of the existing towers would be eliminated and two existing towers do not need to be replaced.

    4. Developing construction access and work areas, which will include re-establishing existing access roads and constructing associated temporary work areas, including helicopter landing zones, equipment laydown areas, and pull and tension sites.


Environmental Review

PG&E’s Application and PEA were deemed complete by the CPUC on May 18, 2010. The CPUC determined that an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was the appropriate CEQA document to evaluate potential environmental issues associated with this project.

Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration

On October 25, 2010, the CPUC released a Notice of Intent to Adopt a MND for the Atascadero – San Luis Obispo 70kV Power Line Reconductoring Project. The findings of the Draft IS/MND are that the proposed project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment.

The Draft IS/MND can be viewed here (58 MB).

 

Public Review Period

The Draft IS/MND underwent a public review period from October 25, 2010, through November 24, 2010.

 

Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration

Comments on the Draft IS/MND were submitted to the CPUC during the public review period ending on November 24, 2010. The CPUC’s responses to the comments received are presented in Chapter 5 of the Final IS/MND. The Final IS/MND was published on February 10, 2011. The conclusions of the Draft IS/MND remain unchanged in the Final IS/MND; the proposed project would not have a significant effect on the environment.

The Final IS/MND can be viewed here (63 MB).

Hardcopies of the Final IS/MND are available at the following locations:

Martin Polin Regional Library
6850 Morro Rd.
Atascadero, CA 93422

Santa Margarita Library
9630 Murphy Ave.
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

San Luis Obispo Library
995 Palm St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Oceano Library
1551 17th St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

 

CPUC Actions After Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) Publication

There is no comment period following issuance of the Final IS/MND. The CPUC will determine the adequacy of the Final IS/MND, and, if adequate, will adopt the document as being compliant with CEQA. If adequate, the CPUC will issue a Proposed Decision on the Application, which will be announced and published concurrent with a scheduled Commission meeting. After the Commission makes the decision on the Application, a Notice of Determination will be mailed to the State Clearinghouse within 5 days of the Decision. The 30-day statute of limitations for court challenges begins after the Notice of Determination is filed.

 

Mitigation Monitoring

Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan

A Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan (MMCRP) was prepared to ensure compliance with applicant proposed measures (APMs) and mitigation measures approved in the Final IS/MND. This MMCRP was developed to provide guidelines and standardize procedures for environmental compliance during project implementation. The procedures were developed in coordination with PG&E and CPUC and define the reporting relationships, the roles and responsibilities of the project’s environmental compliance team members, compliance reporting procedures, and the communication protocol.

The MMCRP can be viewed here (15 MB).

 

Notices to Proceed

PG&E is required to document any proposed deviation from the approved project, adopted mitigation measures, or APMs and submit a written variance request to CPUC for review and approval. Variances are strictly limited to minor project changes that will not trigger other permit requirements unless the appropriate agency has approved the change. Before approving a variance, the CPUC must ensure that the proposed deviation is consistent with CEQA requirements in that it does not increase the severity of an impact or create a new impact without appropriate agency approval, and complies with the intent of any applicable mitigation measures. PG&E will submit multiple variance requests during the construction process, primarily to cover changes related to construction access or pole, tower, or work site modifications. Variance requests processed to date are listed below.

The Notice to Proceed #1 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The Notice to Proceed #2 can be viewed here (15 MB).

The Notice to Proceed #3 can be viewed here (1 MB).

 

Variances

PG&E is required to document any proposed deviation from the approved project, adopted mitigation measures, or APMs and submit a written variance request to CPUC for review and approval. Variances are strictly limited to minor project changes that will not trigger other permit requirements unless the appropriate agency has approved the change. Before approving a variance, the CPUC must ensure that the proposed deviation is consistent with CEQA requirements in that it does not increase the severity of an impact or create a new impact without appropriate agency approval, and complies with the intent of any applicable mitigation measures. PG&E will submit multiple variance requests during the construction process, primarily to cover changes related to construction access or pole, tower, or work site modifications. Variance requests processed to date are listed below.

The approval for Variance Request #1 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #2 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #3 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #4 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #5 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #6 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #7 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #8 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #9 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #10 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #11 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #12 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #13 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #14 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #15 can be viewed here (1 MB).

The approval for Variance Request #16 can be viewed here (1 MB).

Mitigation Compliance Determination Memorandum

Final project design and engineering commenced after the Final IS/MND was approved by CPUC in April 2011. Some project components were modified as engineering was completed, as is common. On May 3, 2011, PG&E submitted a 2011 Work Plan, which included a list of project refinements based on PG&E’s review of final engineering plans and designs. PG&E expects to submit subsequent 2012 and 2013 Work Plans that will include additional project modifications for each respective year.

The CPUC review the PG&E 2011 Work Plan for consistency with the Final IS/MND issued by the CPUC (Decision Number 11-04-014). The 2012 and 2013 Work Plans will be reviewed by the CPUC in the same manner as the 2011 Work Plan. The CPUC has determined that the project refinements requested in the PG&E 2011 Work Plan are consistent with the Final IS/MND. The proposed refinements do not involve any new significant environmental effects or any substantial increases in the severity of previously identified significant effects, nor do they trigger the need to prepare a supplemental or subsequent negative declaration or EIR.

The CPUC has published the Mitigation Compliance Determination Memorandum on PG&E's 2011 Work Plan and PG&E 2011 Work Plan as supporting documents to NTP#2. The Mitigation Compliance Determination Memorandum on PG&E's 2011 Work Plan and PG&E 2011 Work Plan and can be viewed at the NTP#2 link above.

June 2013 Project Construction Update

Remaining construction activities for the project consist of finalizing pole and tower replacement, replacing power line conductor, and restoring completed work sites. Project construction is expected to be complete in September 2013. Restoration and revegetation of work sites will take place once construction is complete. Compliance monitoring will continue until project work areas have been restored to conditions described in the IS/MND.

For Additional Information

The CPUC, through its Environmental Review Team, is conducting an environmental evaluation of the proposed project. To request additional information or to be added to the mailing list, please contact us by email, fax, or phone, as follows:

Project email: atascadero@rmtinc.com
Project fax number: (650) 373-1211
Project voicemail: (650) 340-1200

The CPUC’s Project Manager is:

Jason Coontz , CPUC Project Manager
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor
San Francisco CA 94102
Tel: (415) 703-5360
Fax: (415) 703-2200

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