Skip to main content

tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  August 18, 2019 2:00am-3:01am PDT

2:00 am
>> chair mandelman: all right. good morning, everyone. the meeting will come to order. welcome to the july 25, 2019, special meeting of the public safety and neighborhood services committee. i am supervisor rafael mandelman, chair of the committee. i believe supervisor walton will
2:01 am
be joining us. supervisor stefani will not be here, but supervisor fewer will subin. our clerk is john carroll and i want to thank those on staff for staffing this meeting. i should make a motion to excuse supervisor stefani and we can continue. mr. clerk, do you have any announcements? >> clerk: yes, make sure you've silenced your cellphone and any electronic devices. items acted upon today will appear on the september 3, 2019, board of supervisors agenda unless otherwise stated. the office of the board has received two presidential action memos. one is them for supervisor fewer replacing supervisor stefani and the other is to begin at 10:45, supervisor will be attending in
2:02 am
place of yourself. >> clerk: agenda number 1 is hearing to consider that the issuance of at type-42 on-sale beer and wine public premises liquor license to nunovi, llc, doing business as ora, located at 1519 polk street (district 3), will serve the public convenience or necessity of the city and county of san francisco. >> chair mandelman: is the alu here? >> good morning, members of the board of supervisors, officer solomon. you have before you pcn report for ora. they have applied for a type-42 license and this would allow them to sell beer and wine. there are two letters of protest and one letter of support. they are in area 45 which is a high-crime area. the northern police department has no opposition. the liaison unit recommends approval on the following
2:03 am
conditions. number one, the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premise is prohibited. two, petitioners shall actively monitor the area under their control in an effort to prevent loitering of persons on any property adjacent to the property. number three, no noise shall be audible at any nearby residence. it shall be noted that as of 7/24/19, these conditions were agreed upon by the applicant. >> chair mandelman: great, thank you. and the applicant is here. come on us. >> hi there. i'm sabrina. i am nunovi llc, this is what we were just talking about, the abc
2:04 am
conditions which i was told to bring in total, i did sign. totally, totally fine. we currently have a restaurant over in the financial north beach area. we've had it for 7.5 years. it's a tapas, wine bar, restaurant. we run it ourselves and we tend to do the same thing over at ora. we want to bring something to that neighborhood where people feel welcomed, where everybody is invited. i don't -- i'm not looking for chaos either. i want it to be a very welcoming and inviting place, and that is what i do, which is what we've done over at basque. all the conditions that we were given, we are totally fine with. we're just ready to open. >> chair mandelman: great. thank you. supervisor fewer. >> chair fewer: yes, what are your hours of operation? >> at this point we're playing with hours, but during the week
2:05 am
we could do 4 until midnight, maybe 11:30, depending on what traffic is like, foot traffic. also during the weekends i'd like to be open until 1. it's just beer and wine. i don't want any hard alcohol. i don't want all of that that comes with it. i think that's -- yeah. thank you. >> chair mandelman: any members of the public wishing to speak on this item? i don't see any. then public comment is closed. colleagues, i understand supervisor peskin is supportive of this application, so unless there are comments, questions, or concerns, i think we can direct our clerk to prepare a resolution finding that this application meets the public convenience and necessity and then i will make the motion that
2:06 am
we forward that to the full board with a positive recommendation. >> thank you very much. >> chair mandelman: mr. clerk, please call the next item. clrks agenda item number 2 is the hearing to examine industry practices, policies, and protocols regarding the installation of new wiring, maintenance of existing wires, inspections of abandoned wiring, and the condition of utility poles; and requesting pacific >> chair mandelman: the floor is yours. >> supervisor fewer: have you tetch. colleagues, thank you for hearing this item today. i have heard about the sca get tee webs on poles on streets all across the city. we know utility poles both publicly and privately owned holding matrix electrical cables, communication wires, slat cables and more. to the naked eye our utility poles seem to becoming
2:07 am
increasingly burdened with stuff and drop lines to homes and buildings. i hope today's hearing will help decipher all the stuff we have overahead. i come to this hearing with supervisor stefani so we can take a look at industry poles and actual practice inspecting wiring on utility poles. today we have some experts who will walk us around the safety and integrity of their poles and wires. as we talk about overhead wires, it is also helpful that we consider this in a context in a vision for underground utilities we will also be considering the underground study update. if it's okay, i will start calling some speakers. thank you. today for a first presenter we hear from the california puc lee palmer who is director of enforcement and division. welcome, mr. palmer.
2:08 am
>> thank you. can you see it on your screen at all? are you guys able to see that? >> supervisor fewer: we're doing this right now. >> well, good morning, supervisors, ladies and gentlemen. my name is lee palmer, and i'm the director of the california public utilities commission, safety and enforcement division. thank you for being able to speak to you about overhead electrical facilities -- >> supervisor fewer: excuse me, mr. palmer, do you have a copy of your overhead for the board members? >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. colleagues, do you have one? i don't think they have one either. thank you very much. >> so you should have three documents. one is the actual presentation.
2:09 am
one is a pamphlet put together by the puc on the history of poles, and the other is a copy of our annual report. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much, mr. palmer. please begin. >> during the presentation i will briefly review the regulatory rule of the puc while highlighting the structure of sed as well as discussing some topics of interest rates by interested parties. the commission is broken up into several divisions that regulate particular industries throughout the state of california, some of which include communications, water, energy, rail, and transportation. one of these divisions is the safety enforcement division which serves as a commission's
2:10 am
regulatory enforcement arm and has the authority to issue notices of violation, directives, and citations to regulate utilities who potentially violate a commission general order. within sec we are divided into four branches which include both gas and safety. this diagram can be used to explain items that are on poles and the various companies, energy versus communications. just as a quick note, this schematic includes transmission, which you trls would not find on our distribution pole. in the supply space, a transformer steps down the distribution power to 120 or 240 volts, which is then transmitted to service drops to the customer's homes and businesses. the poles might have other equipment, such as lighting or service reclosures on them. this schematic does not show wireless antennas or other supporting equipment. antennas can be attached to the top or the side of the pole in
2:11 am
the communication space as long as it doesn't inhibit access for the electric company. antennas require auxiliary equipment include a power meter, a power cabinet, amplifiers, shut-down switch. the auxiliary equipment is attached below the line. it should also be noted we only allow registered companies to attach to a pole and they are subject to go 95 >> supervisor fewer: excuse me, i have one question here. just for clarification because this is the first time i actually have seen this diagram, so when you mention the communications space, there is nothing ever below the communications space here on a pole; is that correct? >> the only thing that could be below the communications space is, yeah, the ancillary equipment which could be i believe the shut-down switch,
2:12 am
but i would have to confirm that with the communication providers. >> supervisor fewer: so the california puc actually regulates what is on these poles; is that correct? >> we regulate the pole load which i'm going to get into in the presentation. so each pole had a safety load for go 95, that determines what can be on the pole weight-wise, so it doesn't topple, fail or otherwise become defunct >> supervisor fewer: got it. when we were looking at phase, a phase, c phase, d phase, those are all where utility companies might have their lines, is that correct? >> so generally speaking -- not generally. the way you always have the pole -- you have all the communication lines and data lines and anything non-electric is going to be actually below the distribution lines, the power lines themselves, they're always below it >> supervisor fewer: okay. got it. thank you. >> yeah. the cpc adopts general orders
2:13 am
which contain rules that apply to a class of companies such as electric utilities and communication companies. the one specifically related to poles are go 95 which contains rules on construction and maintenance of overhead facilities and go 165 which contains rules on electric utility inspections of their facilities. go 128 contains rules for construction of underground electric supply and communication facilities. just as a note, the term "undergrounding" is often used to mean converting overhead lines to underground. so go 128 does not address that topic and i'll get to that later on in slide 14. this slide is meant to be an overview of what the cpc's role is regarding poles. when it comes to the overhead facilities, our primary concern is the safety of the pole and the attached equipment in terms of the people and buildings around it. the cpc has several methods of
2:14 am
ensuring regulated utility poles follow the commission's orders. this includes conforming to go 95, conducting audit of maintenance and inspection records, investigating reportable incidents and following consumers' concerns. just what an incident includes, there are three factors: a fatality or hospitalization due to something that happened with the facility, $50,000 or more in total property damage and that can be on the utility side or private property, or there's significant public attention or media coverage. under any of those cases, the utility is required to file an instant report and that will lead to investigating that incident. >> supervisor fewer: excuse me, once again. so the cpuc is -- your purview is about the enforcement and compliance of those poles, is that correct, the oversight?
2:15 am
it sounds as though then it's by customer complaint or certain things trigger why you would do an investigation on a particular pole; is that correct? >> there's a couple ways. so the utility is required to report if it meets one of those instant incidents. so if a car runs into a pole and the pole falls down, $50,000, the utility is required to report and we will investigate did the pole in any way do cause that accident or fail. the other way is through customer complaints and concerns which consumers can launch on the website. you go on the website, there is a complaint, and that will generate through the cpuc hotline a message to sed and we'll investigate >> supervisor fewer: you don't do on-site or random
2:16 am
inspections? >> very limited. >> supervisor fewer: have we done any in san francisco? >> yes, and actually -- >> supervisor fewer: you have that chart. thank you very much. >> so now i've reviewed the framework of the cpuc regulatory role. i'm going to bring up topics of interest brought up. in regards to the mapping, it's the responsibility of the regulated utilities to maintain awareness of the structures. the cpuc does not maintain a centralized map of all 5 million utility pole throughout the state of california. each utility maintains their individual map. with that understanding, the cpuc currently has an open proceeding regarding utility poles. the scope of that proceeding includes such topics as mapping, pole access, and overall access to sensitive utility infrastructure. information on that proceeding can be found looking up the proceeding which i provide the link on the slide. of note, the cpuc started this
2:17 am
proceeding in 2017 and it was initially started to take advantage of the new technologies such as g.i. s to allow for better mapping of the poles, but that is an open proceeding right now. with regards the pole length calculations. it is the responsibility of the pole owner to make sure the pole meets go 95 pole safety factors. sed audits districts to ensure compliants, but it is on the actual owner of that pole to make sure they are following the inspection guidelines noted on the next slide. so it's kind of an i chart i apologize. the main take-away from this slide is there is specific inspection cycles to find the rules that the utilities must follow. these inspection requirements are in go 95 and apply only to
2:18 am
electric distribution facilities. just to walk you through the definition of the terms, patrol which is a visual inspection to identify problems, hazards. you get up, look at the pole and move on. detailed, each piece of equipment is carefully examined visually and through diagnostic test and the result is reported. and you have invasive, doing a test of the soil and the pole itself to make sure it's not rotting and reaching that critical mass failure where it could become a potential safety hazard. so it's the three levels of inspection. inspection requirements for communication lines are in go 95. the inspection cycles are specified for hyper threat areas. for tier 2 and 3 there are guidelines in terms of how often the communication companies need to inspect their lines and
2:19 am
facilities. outside the high-fire district, the companies must prepare their own procedures for control and detailed inspections, taking into account local conditions. >> supervisor fewer: how often do they have to submit their inspections or do they report back to you about them doing their inspections on how often of a basis? >> it's an annual. >> supervisor fewer: it's annual. >> annual. >> supervisor fewer: so what you're telling me whether the owners of the pole, whether public or private entities must do inspection of their poles on an annual basis. >> for private we do not do private. >> supervisor fewer: you're kidding? you do not regulate private poles? >> no, we do not do private, no. again, the utilities are required to follow inspection timelines and we audit the inspection records to ensure they are happening according to that timeline, but i want to go on to highlight here is we audit
2:20 am
the inspection records of the utilities. we are not the inspectors, except for limited spot inspections where we check. usually this happens while we're doing an incident or there is an investigation due to complaint and we'll do additional spot checks to see if there's anything else. utility and communication companies establish geographic districts. there's four types of audit inspections: distribution, transmission, substations, communications which includes telephone, wire line and wire less companies. with regards safety incidents, utilities are required to adhere to the verified time reporting requirements, so those are the three criteria that would report an incident. during business hours they have
2:21 am
two hours, otherwise four hours. report any incident that result in a fatality or hospitalization, $50,000 or more of damage or a significant incident with media coverage. we will issue a notice of violation or potentially a citation once investigated. with regards abandoned facilities, so go 95 identifies that permanently abandoned lines are to be removed by the provider. it also gives the definition of what a permanently abandoned line is, which is defined as no foreseeable future use, as is determined by the owner. customers may submit a complaint on the cpuc website which will be investigated by sed, but often the owner doesn't view the line as abandoned, they see a potential future use and unwilling to remove them >> supervisor fewer: so the definition is fairly vague. it's really up to the owner on
2:22 am
whether or not they see that these lines will be used in the future, but we don't give a timeline, we don't they they must be used in one month or three months. you actually are telling me that it could be a year that these lines are up and it's up to the company to say we'll be using this in the future; is that correct? >> that is correct. >> supervisor fewer: okay. thank you. >> with regards to undergrounding of utility lines, the cpuc does not require the utilities to underground existing wires. that is a decision made by the utilities and local government. part of the finding for undergrounding is right pair funding. so the cpuc oversees the program and approves the amount and how those funds are dispersed. there are many quotes out there what the cost is to undergrounding. the quote we came up with
2:23 am
anywhere between 1.7 and $3.2 million a mile, but again that's going to vary what the situation is, whether it's urban or wild land. the cpuc does require undergrounding in new subdivisions. >> supervisor fewer: mr. palmer, is it the cpuc's opinion that undergrounding is safer than overhead wires? >> -- not been conducted on that by the cpuc. >> supervisor fewer: are you doing one? >> not at this time, no. >> supervisor fewer: so nobody knows. i mean, you're the authority. so the cpuc has no opinion either way whether or not it's safer to have wires underground than above ground; is that correct? >> that is correct. at this time that analysis has not been done by the cpuc >> supervisor fewer: okay. thank you very much. >> chair mandelman: may i?
2:24 am
>> supervisor fewer: yes. >> chair mandelman: i want to thank supervisor fewer and stefani for calling for this hearing. it is an issue of acute interest to i think all of our constituents. certainly when i was out knocking on doors, i had several conversations with people who were quite vexed by the wires going through their neighborhood. but i'm also not as steeped in this topic as supervisor fewer is. so i want to sort of just see if i may have missed something or just to be clear. there are public poles and there are private poles, privately owned poles. and public poles are put up by city governments, counties, i don't know if the state has -- if the state owns poles as well. don't know. and the private poles would be put up by a utility, by a wireless -- >> so when i interpret private
2:25 am
pole, the way i interpret it is literally there are private poles owned by individual, not the company. so, yes, we regulate the iou, investor owned utility >> supervisor fewer: so if tge were to own poles, you wouldn't regulate those? >> when i hear "private pole," i'm thinking somebody that lives out -- >> supervisor fewer: in a rural area. >> -- in a rural area and on the property, they potentially could have their own poles there, they put them up themselves, they attach what they attach to them. that is their private property. >> chair mandelman: but a pole that is put up by a pg & e or an at & t, that would all -- >> all falls under go 95. >> chair mandelman: it's not as shocking as it sounded. >> supervisor fewer: no, no, i'm glad for that clarification. thank you. >> mr. palmer, do you have any idea how many private poles might exist in san francisco?
2:26 am
>> i do not. >> and do you all keep a record of private poles? >> when we're talking about private poles, pg & e -- >> no, i'm talking about private poles on someone's prophet. >> we do not track the actual private pole if it is owned by a citizen, we do not track that number. >> supervisor fewer: what agency would track that number? >> for the private poles? i would get you an answer. i don't know who would track that >> supervisor fewer: but you would say generally in large areas such as san francisco or in dense urban areas, most of the poles are what you call publicly owned? >> i -- personally not the commission of the cpuc but i would be surprised if there are many private poles in the city of san francisco. >> supervisor fewer: got it. it sounds as though as you are winding up your presentation here the california cpuc jurisdiction is over the actual
2:27 am
pole itself and -- but there are other -- and through go 95, there are regulations that they have to abide by; is that correct? >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: and you're the agency actually that ensures that go 95 is actually being abided by. >> yes and is enforced and if they're out of compliance, they can lead to a potential monetary or corrective action or the commission opening up an investigation. >> supervisor fewer: in san francisco, how many of these investigations or complaints have you received? >> i would have to go to the database. i do not have that in front of me. it's something we can pull up >> supervisor fewer: i think it would be interesting to know how many violations have been reported in san francisco, what have been the outcome and who are the violators that the california cpuc is actually investigating. yeah, that would be great to know. thanks. >> can i dig in on one other
2:28 am
question? >> supervisor fewer: yes, go ahead. >> and i know you are not the policy-maker, but the describer of what the policy-makers are doing. i also am trying to understand the puc's apparent ago gnosticism because i think most of us sentient beings in the world our common sense tells us with fires and earthquakes and all these things, our intuition is -- there may have been studies, not by the cpuc, but i believe it is safer to have these wires underground than above ground. it strikes me as peculiar that the cpuc, which is the california regulatory body responsible for safety of these poles, doesn't have a position
2:29 am
on that question and isn't sort of pushing policy one way or the other on undergrounding versus nonundergrounding, which is what i think i heard you saying and i want to confirm that one more time. maybe without asking you to justify the policy-makers' thoughts on it. why not? >> i wish there was a simply answer to that. undergrounding is not a simply function. so it comes down to rate payer money being used. it is an expensive process. there are pros and cons to undergrounding that i have been educated on and from the engineers looking at the pros and the cons. >> chair mandelman: i understand a cost-benefit con, like it's not worth the -- you spend money, money could be spent on other things. maybe you would get more bang for your health impact spending that money somewhere else. if you could blink your eyes and
2:30 am
have everything understood grounded without any cost, is there a public safety harm to that? are there arguments against that for -- are there non-economic arguments against that? >> maintenance. >> chair mandelman: it's easier -- >> it is easier to maintain when they are above ground. you're not digging up the ground. when you're running new line and adding communication line, you're digging it up again. >> chair mandelman: every time you do something new, you have to go into the ground. >> if you have a failure and it is above ground, utilities can speak to this better than myself, if there's a failure, you can see it, it needs to be fixed. underground is not always easy. it involves tearing up dirt. there is a time factor. is it more or less safe? for each geographic location, it is different in terms of what's better for that community. i'm not going to speak directly to san francisco. >> chair mandelman: i mean, i
2:31 am
think it would be helpful for the -- maybe for the puc to help local jurisdictions sort of think this question through. >> supervisor fewer: right. >> chair mandelman: of what some of the costs and benefits are and if, in fact, there are parts of california where all in all the cpuc thinks we shouldn't be undergrounding, that would be good to know because our inclination is to be thinking we should be getting everything undergrounded as quickly as we possibly can. >> supervisor fewer: also he just mentioned that california cpuc is requiring all new development have underground wires. so it lends itself to say that it is actually a better way to have our wires. i mean, i think if you're requiring all new development, actually there is a reason why you're requiring all new developments to be undergrounded. so it gives an argument that, actually, it should be all undergrounded, but it would be
2:32 am
great to have the california puc actually do a study to find out -- and especially in these urban areas and earthquake country, as we are here, the safety also of the poles. so i just think there's been heightened interest in this about the safety also, due to the fires and other -- well, also esthetics, but mainly the fires. so i think there's added interest in this. supervisor walton. >> supervisor walton: any reason there's not a centralized map of cpuc-regulated poles held by the cpuc? >> so as the poles -- initially why there wasn't one in the very beginning, i can't answer that. what i can answer is we have a current open proceeding that's talking just to do that. if it is maintained by the cpuc, security concerns, there is sensitive equipment that needs to be protected, you have that
2:33 am
and does the cpuc have the proper protocol and staffing, et cetera, to protect that information. it also comes down to each of the utilities throughout the state, you're talking 5 million-plus utility poles and different mapping procedures and what the maps consist of and how they maintain their maps. coming up with a unified manner what's publicly available and not publicly available, does it rest in the hands of the utilities, is it all consolidated at the cpuc. these are all questions being addressed inside that open proceeding. i hope that answered your question. >> supervisor walton: yeah, thank you. >> supervisor fewer: and i think about abandoned facilities and the fact that there is no foreseeable future used, that's just the definitely, and it's determined by the owner, which sounds crazy. so in my district what we're seeing is more and more stuff being put on the lines. this picture right here actually kind of depicts a little bit about what is happening kind of in my neighborhood, right.
2:34 am
so we are not able to determine whether or not any time something is replaced, whether taking down -- what they're replacing and putting up new stuff or adding new stuff onto our lines. so you're saying to me as a consumer or a resident, you can actually make a complaint yourself; is that correct? >> absolutely. >> supervisor fewer: okay. and then you will investigate it. so a resident could take a photo of a pole and saying, look, this is getting really crowded with stuff, much more than it used to be, and then you would come out and take a look at it? >> what would happen, it's online, the public website for the cpuc, there is a button that says "complaint." you press on that button and it's going to take you to the link where you can e-mail, you can call. i'm not sure if you can attach pictures. i would have to go and see >> supervisor fewer: actually in our neighborhood you could do sort of a crowd-sourcing thing and you could say to your
2:35 am
residents: if you think a utility pole has excess stuff and you've lived in front of a utility pole for the last 15 years and in the last five years you've seen a whole plethora of what you believe to be abandoned facilities or you believe to be abandoned facilities, that you could actually have residents i mean -- or e-mail go online to make a complaint; is that right? >> cpuc has a phone bank, and as the complaints or concerns come in, they're sourced to the appropriate division. so if it's a safety concern, it would come to cpuc, my division. if there is a concern, an engineer would be assigned, go out and look at it. it comes down to what's in the general order. go 95 does state, is it a go violation, is it a safety
2:36 am
concern, that's what we're looking for, is it a safety concern >> supervisor fewer: and you can't tell me how many safety concerns have been actually confirmed in san francisco? >> not in san francisco, no. in the annual report it gives a breakdown, i believe it's state-wide. i'd have to open up -- give you a copy of the annual report. as far as specifically san francisco, we would have to do the data for that >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. any other questions, colleagues? thank you so much for educating us today. this is getting in the weeds a little bit. thank you, mr. palmer. so appreciative. now we have from pg & e. mark esquaira. >> i'm darren klein. i have mark here. he is our senior manager for distribution management. >> supervisor fewer: we have this powerpoint from you, mr. klein?
2:37 am
>> i also have timonenorimoto for undergrounding. we have some people to answer questions and my colleague sebasti sebasti sebasti sebastian khan who helped me set that up. good morning, everyone. we're here to talk about our ... so we're going to talk about utility practices, protocols, just to let you know pg & e, we
2:38 am
manage 2.4 million power poles throughout our 70,000 square mile service area. here in san francisco, we have 32,000 poles. 10,000 of those poles we own 100%. 22,000 of them are jointly owned. so i'm going to take some time here just to talk about attachments and safety and things that go into that. as you look at the system we have here, you're looking at 400 miles of overhead, 700 miles of underground distribution lines. we do have transmission lines here in san francisco. all of those transmission lines are underground or out in the bay, except for a small portion down at hunter's point which will be undergrounded in the near future when we put in a new substation there. so you do have more underground
2:39 am
distribution than you do overhead distribution. the joint pole authority was created so that we could reduce the number of poles that have to be in your neighborhoods. we wanted to also ensure safe safety/reliability in a way that we can all work together. so as part of the joint pole authority, we follow all of those standard procedures to ensure that there's an accurate inventory of poles, that each attachment is applied for, all of the things that the cpuc speaker mr. palmer referred to before. we all work together and that's where -- we all work together, but we also know there is go 95 and we work under that and that kind of sets our protocols for our routine patrols and inspections. in urban environments like san francisco, we look at every pole every year. we do an inspection of that
2:40 am
pole. we visually identify safety and reliability issues. if there are attachments on the poles, we will make sure there is pole-loading calculations. then we have our pg & e pole inspection routine program. that's an inspection we do for everybody. and then every five years we do a detailed inspection of poles and all the associated equipment. for facilities located underground, we do that inspection every three years. we also make minor repairs. in addition, the requirements of a patrol, our detailed inspections, are also used to identify potential go 95 violations that mr. palmer discussed, and we'll make those repairs as necessary. the xurenunder cpuc go 165, tha means it needs to be looked at
2:41 am
every year. we do the boring down every ten years. we've been doing this more and more because we have seen these attachments put on poles. we have seen -- we call them unauthorized attachments because a lot of times you see this political signs, people climb up the poles and attach political signs to them and stuff like that. in urban areas, we stick to the one year so that we can make sure whatever people have been doing around the poles in urban environments, there are issues with that. if the pole is tested and it doesn't meet the requirements, we'll go through and make sure that it meets the requirements. we know there are a lot of issues with poles in urban areas, so we constantly are replacing poles here in san francisco. last year we replaced about 700 poles on a regular basis with our inspection.
2:42 am
>> supervisor fewer: yes, supervisor walton. >> supervisor walton: just briefly before we continue, i want to make a motion to excuse chair mandelman without objection. >> supervisor fewer: yes. >> supervisor walton: perfect. thank you. >> supervisor fewer: you're going to miss all this interesting stuff. yeah, i know. >> i have a slide on undergrounding. so as has been mentioned before, any electric load added to poles must meet the strength requirements by go 95. what we do is require that any entity that would like to attach to a pg & e pole, that that entity must enter into a license agreement with the joint utility department or be a member of the california joint pole association. once that person is identified, then we determine if they will want to be pg & e's tenant, that's where we own the entire
2:43 am
pole, or if they want to be a tenant and rent a space, or become a joint owner and purchase that space. so a communications company would purchase the space underneath our space if we own the whole pole and it becomes a jointly owned pole. in both cases the attacher must submit an application with a job package, purchase of intent, all the usual things, but in short, everyone must apply for permission to attach and to perform pole-loading calculations to ensure safety. that's why when we do see signs and other things that are attached to poles, we say please don't do it, because we have folks who will look at those pole-loading calculations and ensure that the pole is safe and we realize and everyone realizes once this protocol is not followed, disaster could happen. now, supervisor walton, you had brought up a point about is there a map? well, we actually have a map.
2:44 am
this is not under cpuc, but cpuc has opened up what is an oii, which is an investigation into having this kind of state-wide map. we have what we call jump, the joint use map portal. we like to have acronyms that sound good. this is how we coordinate with our partners. even the sfpuc can go into this portal, look at where all our poles are and make decisions about what's going on with the system and stuff like that >> supervisor fewer: are they able to determine which ones are jointly owned and which ones are wholly owned by you? >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: that's identified on juch -- jump? >> we just changed all the light bulb s to led.
2:45 am
we mapped every pole that is sfpuc owned and what is pg & e owned and we have shared that data so we know whose poles is what. that's when we started discovering a lot of unauthorized attachments and we have made notations of those. we will start working through those issues. we do feel the pole loading is okay, but we will check them >> supervisor fewer: okay. >> supervisor walton: just quickly, the average resident can't go in? >> no. this is protected, as mr. palmer referred to, for homeland security reasons, it is protected. only members of the joint pole authority and folks that we work with have access to this, and this is something that i'm sure is the cpuc is looking at during their investigatory period, as to providing a map what that portal would look like and those kinds of things. we are providing that information to them how we
2:46 am
manage these poles so people can get this information. we do have what you need. we have details on the location, type of material, height, the circumference, remaining strength, the most recent inspection, test, and treat results, and all that information can be downloaded so that they can do the calculations. so as was mentioned, i did -- we did pop up a slide here so you can understand a little bit about the oii or order instituting investigation. i apologize to the public for the use of acronyms. this is where we are working with the cpuc and the other utilities to form this state-wide database. so those workshops started in the fall of 2018. they continue now. we are talking about strategies on how to best ensure the
2:47 am
integrity of affected communications and the electric supply infrastructure, and that includes poles, wires broadly speaking. we will make sure and what we are advocating for in that is the same information that is in our jump information. i was told i had five minutes, so i've been kind of going through this a little quick. any time you have any questions, please ask. i do want to bring up undergrounding. we operate and maintain approximately 100,000 miles of overhead line. as i mentioned, we have 400 miles of overhead distribution. we are right now evaluating what is best for undergrounding versus having above-ground poles. it does depend on what the soil is. it depends on really the geographic location, just to say in general, because yes, a lot of people say why don't you just underground your lines?
2:48 am
is it really all about cost? it isn't all about cost. it is about what is underground. we know undergrounding are not immune to weather. i will tell you when you underground lines in minnesota, they have problems with gophers. they actually had a gopher guy that does gopher surveys to make sure their underground lines stay safe. i don't think we have gophers here in san francisco, but we have -- and that's what i mean by -- when you talk about the geographic difference, what is it that affects with what goes above ground and below ground. so we also know that underground lines, when they do get affected like in an earthquake, they do take longer to repair. when you look at a situation like all of the underground transmission lines we have in san francisco, if there was to be an earthquake, the earth shifts, breaks those lines, it will take a long time to bring
2:49 am
those lines back up. we have made -- we have taken measures to mitigate for that just so you guys know. i don't want you to think that pg & e is worried about the underground lines. we have a warehouse next to our martin station that has all your transmission lines, the bay area restoration warehouse, it has all the transmission lines and poles so that we can very quickly set up new transmission lines while we repair the underground lines so san francisco will still have power if you have a large earthquake. >> supervisor fewer: okay. that's great. any questions or comments? yeah, supervisor, welcome to the discussion. >> is it true that undergrounding saves in terms of energy loss, so rather than being above ground, underground when you're distributing the energy there's not as much loss when it's underground? >> that depends and that's one of the issues we would look at
2:50 am
when it comes to undergrounding here in san francisco. when you have transmission lines underground and you have distribution lines undergrounding, if they're far apart enough, they can flow electricity, it might be more efficient or not. but as you put the lines closer together and we have very busy utilities under your streets in san francisco, you have a problem called impede entans that will reduce the effectively of the power going through the wire. we can't go in and say we'll put 12 transmission lines down a street, because if you have 12 transmission lines you would have to put in a special cooling system so the impedance will be used. >> in general it's more efficient unless it's in proximity? >> that's really what it depends on, what the proximity is and do you have enough room. we faced a lot of challenges with some projects in supervisor
2:51 am
walton's district where in some of the industrial areas we have a lot of transmission lines underground. when we look to put distribution underground we actually can't fit it so we have to move some things around. >> minus transmission lines, the distribution line is more efficient; correct? >> i -- it depends on the application. i mean, i -- the lines are efficient, you know, when we go in and put those lines in, the efficiency of that line depends on where it's geographically located. >> do you guys voluntarily underground or are you doing it when we're requesting it? is it. >> i couldn't rightly say because we do have more lines underground here in san francisco than not, but we work with our regulator, the cpuc, to decide if lines go underground or not. >> you don't know the answer? >> no, i can get back to you.
2:52 am
>> if you voluntarily do it, it's usually when we request it on the city side. you're not voluntarily undergrounding? >> we voluntarily underground our transmission lines. do you want to take that one? >> i'm the rule 28 program manager. the rule 28 is set up so that requests from cities and counties can come into pg & e and other utilities to convert overhead lines to underground and the tariff permits the allocation of work credits. cities and counties accrue these work credits very much like airline miles and redeem these credits for future undergrounding credits when they have a sufficient number of work credits. for new construction, those are under other rules, such as rule 2, rule 15, and rule 16. so many times those new
2:53 am
construction projects will be done from underground from the get-go. specifically with the conversion of overhead to underground is rule 20. >> so do you voluntarily do it or you do it based on what we're requesting? that last part sounded like rule 20 was when we require a new construction, because i know often new construction in san francisco will require it and so then you have to abide by that, but otherwise you're not voluntarily doing it, you prefer it above ground? >> that's correct. so what the rule 20(a) because we are a regulated investor-owned utilities, we must follow all the various tariffs and rules that are provided by the cpuc. rule 20 has three parts. rule 20(a), rule 20(b), and rule 20(c). rule 20(a) which is where rate payer dollars utilized to
2:54 am
convert overhead to underground facilities and as mentioned the cities and counties accrue work credits and convert these work credits for future projects, and a future project is designated by passing a resolution. a rule 20(b) project would be when a city or a county also passes a resolution, but it would be a self-taxing measure for those residents within the designated underground district. and a rule 20(c) is more or less a -- just a cash transaction. when someone wants to underground a specific facility. these are the ways that cities and counties have at their disposal to underground overhead to underground lines. i will mention also that the cpuc has created an order instituting rule-making to readdress a lot of the concerns that they have heard from cities and county. the city and county of san francisco is a party to this process. the oir started in 2017.
2:55 am
one of the things that the cpuc is looking at is -- one of the aspects is the rule 20 work credit allocation methodology. currently the city of san francisco had a significantly large project. and so they have been allowed through exemption by the cpuc to do approximately $48 million worth of undergrounding -- sorry, 48 miles worth of undergrounding, but that unfortunately, the city of san francisco has now mortgaged approximately 14 years of future years. so this needs to reach a zero balance of work credits, you need to wait 14 years to start undergrounding overhead lines >> supervisor fewer: that translates to say that the rate payers will be paying this off for another 14 years; is that correct? because this is really by rate payers?
2:56 am
>> there is the -- the capital projects themselves are paid for when they're entered into pg & e's rate base, so at the completion of the project. so those projects are essentially recovered through pg & e's rate-making process. the work credits, they are not collected in advance from rate payers. so as pg & e distributes those work credits in the cities and counties, there is not a commensurate treasury or a bank of rate payer dollars that is utilized >> supervisor fewer: so the rate payers will continue to pay this until we're at a zero balance in 14 years? is that what you -- >> not quite. it's -- the capital costs of the project is in our rate base and is amortized over the period of
2:57 am
that capital project >> supervisor fewer: so we've already done -- we've used our 20(a) sort of in san francisco when we did some undergrounding and my -- what i'm hearing back is we ran out of money to do the rest, but we'll be paying it for another -- last year it was 15 years. so i think what you're telling me is 14 years. >> yes. actually, it's going to be 15 years before you reach a zero balance of work credits. i just want to emphasize these are work credits, these are not rate dollars. the city and county of san francisco in their comments, opening comments, in the oir proceeding with the cpuc has made mention of this to examine the work credit methodology, given that the city and county of san francisco has significant ambition to underground more overhead lines to underground. >> supervisor fewer: okay. any other questions or comments? okay. thank you very much. thank you. all right.
2:58 am
so we've heard from pg & e, who brings in energy and electricity. now we're going to hear from communication lines. i think we have kammy blackstone from at & t. i'm assuming, ms. blackstone, that at&t is part of this association of northern california's joint policy -- i didn't even know that existed -- joint pole association; correct? >> indeed we are. >> supervisor fewer: and i'm assuming, ms. blackstone, that you are joint owners of these -- some of these 22,000 jointly owned utility poles; is that correct? >> indeed we are. >> supervisor fewer: okay. >> good morning, supervisors.
2:59 am
thank you very much for having this hearing. my name is kammy blackstone and i am the director of external affairs for at&t and looking forward to this presentation. i'm here not only as a director of at&t but a city long-time resident of san francisco. i'm a part of this community that has concerns about overhead wiring. i wanted to start by presenting some basic facts about poles in california. you've heard quite a bit already from the cpuc and pg&e. just to go over it again, you're looking there in this slide just some basic facts about the poles in california. we are in the communications zone, and you had mentioned seeing a lot more additional equipment. you are seeing that additional
3:00 am
equipment in that communications zone as more people entered the market. so i'm going to refer to, like sonic or monkey brains or some of the other utility providers you will see up there >> supervisor fewer: they are all members of this other organization that i didn't know existed? >> you know, i would say you need to ask them. i know we are required to allow them space in that area. >> supervisor fewer: okay. >> so our inspection and maintenance plan is kind of covered here. we also follow all the regulations that are used throughout the state of california. so we stay with -- we comply with all the state and federal regulations, and it's our interest of course to keep our customers and workers safe and to keep our services reliable. this slide shows you all of the different rules that we work under. there's -- this is just a partial list of the most important and most relevant to this discussion which you've


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on