Pacific Gas & Electric Company's Proposed Cressey-Gallo 115 kV Power Line Project

(Application A.11-11-020, filed November 30, 2011)

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Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) web site for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E's) proposed Cressey-Gallo 115 kV Power Line Project. An application for this project was submitted to the CPUC on November 30, 2011 (A.11-11-020). This site provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA review process.


In its 2011 application, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) proposed to construct the Cressey-Gallo 115 Kilovolt (kV) Power Line Project, a new, approximately 14.4-mile-long, single-circuit power line needed to improve transmission system reliability for customers in north-central Merced County, California.

The project consisted of constructing a new 115 kV power line between Cressey and Gallo Substations to form a power line loop with two other area substations (Livingston and Atwater). The new transmission loop allows power to flow from another direction when there is an outage on a line feeding the loop, avoiding customer service interruptions from single-line outages in this area. As proposed by PG&E, the project included:

  • Constructing a new, approximately 14.4-mile, single-circuit 115 kV power line interconnecting Cressey Substation and Gallo Substation.

  • Upgrading the bus configurations at Cressey Substation and replacing the existing radial power line transition into the substation within the existing substation property.

  • Expanding Gallo Substation to add switchgear and upgrade the bus configurations.

The project is located in the San Joaquin Valley in Merced County near the City of Livingston, California. The project route is oriented primarily east to-west between Cressey Substation and Gallo Substation, intersecting with State Route 99 south of the City of Livingston. The project connects Cressey Substation (located at the southeast corner of West Lane and Meadow Drive, approximately 2 miles east of the community of Cressey) to an expanded Gallo Substation (located on the property of the Gallo Winery facility at 18000 River Road, approximately 4 miles west of the City of Livingston).

CPUC Application Review and Approval

The PG&E Cressey-Gallo 115 kV Power Line Project was evaluated in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) was prepared to inform the CPUC and public of the potential project impacts and available mitigation (information on the MND preparation is provided below). The CPUC voted on January 16, 2014 to approve the PG&E Cressey-Gallo 115 kV Transmission Project and Final MND (Decision D.14-01-003) and a Notice of Determination was submitted to the State Clearinghouse (SCH #2013021061). The mitigation measures and applicant-proposed measures (APMs) described in the Final MND were adopted by the CPUC as conditions of project approvals.

Construction and Mitigation Monitoring

Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan

Following CPUC approval, a Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan (MMCRP) was prepared to ensure compliance with APMs and mitigation measures approved in the Final MND. The MMCRP provided guidelines and standardized procedures for environmental compliance during project implementation. The procedures were developed in coordination with PG&E and CPUC and described 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 (5.2MB).

Notices to Proceed with Construction

As defined by the MMCRP, it was necessary for CPUC to issue a Notice-to-Proceed (NTP) before construction could start. On the Cressey-Gallo Project there were multiple work packages and work sites, so PG&E elected to request multiple separate NTPs. Each separate NTP request was applicable to a defined segment or aspect of the Project. Over the course of the Cressey-Gallo Project, PG&E submitted 3 separate NTP requests. CPUC reviewed the NTP requests and the applicable pre-construction requirements to ensure that all of the information required to process and approve the NTPs was included. CPUC requested additional information or clarification as needed. Based on information provided in the requests for NTPs and the review findings, CPUC issued each of the 3 NTPs. The complete list of NTPs issued by CPUC for the Cressey-Gallo Project is provided in the table below.

Notices to Proceed
Date Requested
Date Issued
Installation and removal of the shoo-fly, expansion work at the Gallo Substation, construction of the single and double circuit 115 kV pole lines on the Gallo Property, and modification work at the Cressey Substation.
Installation of remaining TSPs, construction of the re-route area north of Livingston Canal, construction of single circuit 115 kV pole lines within 1/2-mile buffers for Swainson’s hawk nesting areas east of Howard Street, and pulling of conductor.
Installation of the remaining portions of the Project, including construction of single circuit 115 kV pole lines and pulling of conductor.

Construction began in November 2014. The transmission line, and substation structure upgrades were complete and energized on December 19, 2015. Remaining substation work (including paving, fencing and clean-up) was completed and crews were demobilized by January 2016. A soil pile and construction trailer located in the Project staging area was removed in February 2016. Weekly reports documenting construction and compliance activities can be viewed here.

Minor Project Changes

As defined by the MMCRP, at various times throughout project construction, minor changes to the project, such as the need for additional or revised workspace, were anticipated as common practice for construction efforts of this scale. Minor Project Change requests were required for such activities. The CPUC Project Manager, along with the CPUC EMs, implemented the Minor Project Change procedures defined in the MMCRP to evaluate each proposed project change for its potential for creating significant environmental effects to determine whether supplemental CEQA review is required. A complete list of Minor Project Changes processed for the Cressey-Gallo Project is provided in the table below.

Minor Project Changes
Date Requested
Date Issued
Use of an existing alternative staging area 75 feet west of the proposed Staging Area 001 located southeast of the Gallo Substation
(1) Allow for a temporary fence around the project staging area to remain permanently, per the request of the Gallo Winery, and (2) allow for 3 existing wooden power line poles to remain in place, to be used by an orchard as owl box posts.

A Final Report documenting Cressey-Gallo permitting, NTPs, construction, compliance, and Minor Project Changes is located here.

Environmental Review Process

PG&E filed a Proponent's Environmental Assessment (PEA) with the Application in November 2011. The PEA provided a starting point for the independent environmental review process conducted by the CPUC.

PG&E's Application and PEA were deemed complete for review by the CPUC on December 21, 2011.

Mitigated Negative Declaration Preparation

On February 27, 2013, the CPUC released a Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Cressey-Gallo 115 kV power Line Project showing that the Proposed Project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment.

The Draft IS/MND underwent a public review period from February 27, 2013, through March 29, 2013.

On June 7, 2013, the CPUC released a Final Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Cressey-Gallo 115 kV Power Line Project, showing that the Proposed Project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment. The Final MND detailed the Proposed Project, evaluated and described its potential environmental impacts, identified those impacts that could be significant, and presented mitigation measures to avoid or minimize these impacts. The Final MND can be viewed here.

For Additional Information

To request additional information, ask a question, or be added to the project mailing list, please contact:

Voicemail or Fax (209) 812-1952
U.S. Mail or Courier Billie Blanchard
California Public Utilities Commission
c/o Aspen Environmental Group
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 935
San Francisco CA 94104-3002

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