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PG&E Tree Removal at Alto Substation - FAQs and Answers

Members of the Mill Valley community have been inquiring about PG&E’s tree work at Alto Substation. The City of Mill Valley has prepared information on the most frequently asked questions as below:

Q: Who did the tree removal- PG&E, the City, or both?
A: PG&E removed the trees.

Q: How many trees were removed, and of what species?
A: Approximately 100 trees were removed. Species were primarily Italian Stone Pine. Other species included Monterey Pine, Acacia, and Eucalyptus. Several Coast Live Oak and Redwood trees were also removed.

Q: Did the City ask PG&E to remove the trees? If not, did PG&E get a permit for the tree removal?
A: In September 2019, PG&E notified the City of its plans to remove the trees as part of an overdue and comprehensive vegetation management project for the Alto Substation. After reviewing the notice, the City authorized PG&E to perform the work to comply with utility regulations and to mitigate hazards at the substation. In giving the authorization, we requested that PG&E work with the City to ensure that vegetative screening is maintained to the extent feasible. Due to the amount of tree removal that was necessary, we are now working with PG&E on a long-term replanting plan.  

Q: What’s the plan (if any) for replanting? If so, have mature, less-flammable trees been under consideration?
A: PG&E will be replanting trees and shrubs to help screen the substation. The City and PG&E are discussing landscape plans for the site. Native and fire-safe plant varieties will be the dominant preference. 

Q: Who do you recommend that the public contact to offer suggestions, raise concerns, etc. regarding this issue (PG&E, City staff, City Council etc.)?
A: Steve Ross, Senior Planner, is the City’s point off contact with PG&E for this project.  He can be reached at sross@cityofmillvalley.org or 384-4805. Comments and suggestions can be sent to Steve, who is providing updates to the Director of Planning and Building and the City Manager.