Update on PG&E’s Tree Work and Debris Removal

In recent months, members of the Mill Valley community have noted that PG&E has left behind debris piles from their work pruning and removing trees that are too close to their transmission and distribution lines. We have looked into the matter and found that PG&E has two policies for debris pile removal based on the size of the material left behind:

Large branch/log piles: PG&E contractors will leave behind debris larger than 4” in diameter for the property owner to dispose of. In most cases, PG&E would have obtained permission or given notice to the owner of their tree work and debris policy beforehand, so remaining piles of large branches or logs that you might see in your neighborhood are to be disposed of by the property owner. If you are concerned about a debris pile with large branches and logs, contact the property owner about its removal.

Bushy debris piles: PG&E contractors will remove bushy piles of debris that are less than 4” in diameter. Upon hearing that these debris piles have been left behind recently, City staff contacted PG&E representatives, who reported that they would take steps to address the issue. These steps include increasing the number of chipper truck crews that follow behind the cutting crews, labeling the piles they leave behind, so they can be identified, and mandating that contractors clear bushy debris piles within 24 hours of creating them.

If any of the steps listed above regarding bushy debris piles are not taking place, PG&E requests that members of the Mill Valley community contact them directly so that PG&E team members can resolve matters quickly. Community members can contact PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000 or 1-800-PGE-5002 to provide notification of debris piles that are not cleared away in a timely manner. When contacting PG&E, the following information may be requested to expedite the case:

Your Info: Full name, address, phone, email.  

Your Relationship to the Problem: Are you the property owner, a neighbor, concerned community member, etc.

Summary of concern:  
Who - Name(s) of anyone you have spoken with in person or by phone. 
What - Brief summary of the concern.
Where - Location of the problem and any PG&E equipment and any identifying markings/numbers on the equipment.
When - When did you first notice and take action regarding the concern.
Photos - If safe to take them, photos of the following are helpful to PG&E to escalate and resolve issues quickly. Do not attempt to get close to an area you consider dangerous in order to take a photo of an unsafe condition.  ALWAYS call 800-743-5002 to report hazardous conditions.

Take pictures of:

  • The general location from a distance; road signs, the equipment of concern, general area access (street access or densely vegetated hillside).
  • Close up photos of equipment identifying numbers (e.g. pole number) or vegetation that is near or close to electric equipment or concerns about gas lines or other PG&E facilities.
  • Any other photos that may help better understand your concerns.

Additional details and information on PG&E’s tree work and debris removal guidelines and procedures are available on the PG&E website.