PG&E Conducting Gas Safety Work in Petaluma Area – Temporary Park Closure

Posted on September 14, 2023

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A message from PG&E:

As part of our commitment to providing customers with safe and reliable natural gas service, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) will be replacing portions of our natural gas pipeline in the Petaluma area. This work will help enhance natural gas safety and reliability for the Petaluma Community.

PG&E’s safety work will begin in October and will continue until December. The work will take place beneath the Petaluma River at Shollenberger Park and the southern portion of the park will be closed to the public on weekdays with limited access during weekends.

The new pipe will be placed nearly 50 feet deeper than the existing pipe, increasing safety and system resilience. At the recommendation of the Army Corps of Engineers, PG&E plans to remove the existing line from the Petaluma River. This supports reducing restrictions on the dredging program and promotes safer future operations.

During the work period, there may be a controlled and safe release of a small amount of natural gas. People in the area may notice the smell of gas. This is normal while crews are working, but we encourage anyone with concerns to call us at 1-800-743-5000.

Want to enjoy a walk in the wetlands while Shollenberger is closed? Head down the road to Ellis Creek Pond Loop at our Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility. Located less than a mile from Shollenberger’s main parking lot, Ellis Creek offers over 2 miles of trails and a wonderful array of birds and wildlife to observe. While you’re there, see if you can spot the pelicans, egrets, herons, sandpipers, Red-tailed hawks, western pond turtles, and marsh wrens that call Ellis Creek home! Signs directing Shollenberger patrons to the Ellis Creek Pond Trail will be posted throughout construction. Learn more about Ellis Creek HERE.


Environmental Concerns and Strategies

Shollenberger is home to a beloved array birds and wildlife. The City of Petaluma and PG&E take the preservation of this wildlife seriously and are implementing strategies to cause the least disruption to the environment. See below for information from PG&E regarding environmental preservation and mitigation strategies.

  • No permanent loss of wetlands or habitat is associated with the project
  • PG&E has partnered with several state and federal agencies to identify and implement mitigation measures to reduce potential impacts: including conducting routine nesting and wildlife surveys in the months leading up to and weeks prior to construction, phasing work activities around seasonal windows, & having biological and cultural monitors on-site during construction activities
  • PG&E has implemented a restoration plan aimed at preserving existing wetlands and habitat at the park. This restoration plan encourages the planting of native species and the removal of common invasive plants around the Petaluma Wetlands
  • The California State Lands Commission is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lead agency, and has prepared a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the project that outlines in detail the project, permits, and mitigation measures for the project
  • PG&E operates in strict accordance with our Operation and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • PG&E is conducting protocol level surveys for sensitive species known to be in Shollenberger Park and the Petaluma Wetlands
  • Prior to and during construction, areas around active bird nests will be buffered and monitored by an on-site biologist
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