SDG&E

SDGE SEEKS TO MOVE HEAVY TRANSPORMERS THROUGH I-8 STARTING TONIGHT

 

August 23, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Greg Fox, Chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, has forwarded an announcement from the County Department of Public Works (DPW) advising that SDGE’s contractor, American Heavy Equipment (AHE) has submitted a moving permit application and traffic control permit request to transport seven large transformers from the San Diego Port to Bell Bluff Truck Trail (east of Alpine).

 

The truck will get onto I-8 from Greenfield Drive and will exit on Japatul Valley Road and will not be traveling through the Community of Alpine.  AHE is proposing the first move for tomorrow night (August 23, 2011). This is the first of seven roundtrip moves that will occur every two to three days apart after the initial move.

READER’S VIDEO EDITORIAL: SAVE EAST COUNTY’S EAGLES

By Billy Ortiz

View video of eagle chick shot April 21, 2011 in Lakeside's El Monte Valley:  http://youtu.be/G__OAP57RW4

I am sending this in hope of raising awareness of our Golden eagles here in San Diego County. Recently these magnificent eagles have come under attack by the construction of the Sunrise Powerlink. This could be the last time we see footage like this video of an eagle chick here in Lakeside, California and in many other parts of the San Diego's East County.

FOR THE BIRDS: LAKESIDE EXOTIC BIRD BREEDER FIGHTS TO SAVE HER FLOCK

Owner attributes deaths to helicopter flyovers for SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink Construction

“The mitigation will be handled by the courts. Well by then, they will all be dead.” – Catherine Gorka, Pampered Parrots owner

 

“SDG&E should do the right thing TODAY to protect these endangered birds, up to and including relocating the birds to a safe location...It is unconscionable that they would knowingly allow the deaths to occur instead of proactively doing the right thing.” – Laura Cyphert, East County Community Action Coalition

August 11, 2011 (Lakeside) – “The house was shaking. It terrified me,” Catherine Gorka, owner of Pampered Parrots in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley, recalls the first flyover above her home and aviaries by an SDG&E helicopter working on Sunrise Powerlink on February 25, 2011. “I was waiving my arms, calling out for them to stop.”

BURNED: FIRE DISTRICT REVOKES APPROVAL FOR SDG&E ECO-SUBSTATION


Update August 8: In a meeting between SDG&E and Rural Fire Protection District representatives on Thursday, SDG&e indicated it wants a single set of rules such as for vegetation clearance and sought to be exempted from overhead water sprinklers over electrical equipment. The RFPD suggested an inert gas fire fighting agent. “In the end, what we believe will happen is that SDG&E will comply, although there will be modifications,” said member Lou Russo.

STUDY FINDS SEMPRA CROSS-BORDER TRANSMISSION PROJECT COULD COST 15,000 U.S. JOBS & $300 MILLION IN LOST TAXES; SEMPRA CALLS STUDY “BIASED”

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Sempra Energy has asked the U.S. Department of Energy for a presidential permit to construct a cross-border transmission line called Energia Sierra Juarez to import electricity from Sempra facilities in Mexico. The line would cross the border near Jacumba in San Diego’s East County.
 

9TH CIRCUIT COURT DENIES SDG&E MOTION TO DISMISS REQUEST FOR STAY IN POWERLINK CASE, PENDING APPEAL

July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a motion by San Diego Gas & Electric Company seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three East County organizations. The groups have asked the court to issue an injunction halting construction on the Sunrise Powerlink on federal Bureau of Land Management property.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNION TRIBUNE: WHY DOESN'T YOUR NEW CITIZENS' EDITORIAL BOARD INCLUDE ANY EAST COUNTY VOICES?

 

 

 

 

 

To: Jeff Light, Editor, San Diego Union-Tribune; jeff.light@uniontrib.com

 

July 24, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- I applaud the UT for setting up a citizen’s editorial board.  In many ways you’ve achieved a diversity of views ethinically, racially, and politically. But there are some glaring omissions.

 

There is not a single voice representing East County, rural residents,  fire survivors, nor environmental protection interests in the backcountry. 

 

It’s particularly unbalanced to have SDG&E represented on the board, with no one to speak for rural East County folks negatively impacted by the company’s actions.

SDG&E RENEGES ON PROMISE TO CAMOUFLAGE TOWERS IN LAKESIDE SCENIC VIEW CORRIDOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2011 (Lakeside) – Back in February 2009, SDG&E officials met with a packed hall full of residents in Lakeside, including the town’s planning board. Residents were furious that SDG&E had changed its proposed route to march 40-story high voltage towers through El Monte Valley, a County-designated scenic view corridor.

After numerous residents objected to desecration of views, SDG&E representative Laura McDonald promised that towers would be “camouflaged” by painting them tan or green. This reporter was present and can vouch for that pledge made. Don Parent and at least two other SDG&E representatives were also present.

But now SDG&E has reneged on its promise to the people of Lakeside—and its representatives have apparently developed convenient cases of amnesia.

SDG&E AIR CRANE CALLED IN TO HELP FIGHT EAGLE FIRE

 

July 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Erickson Air Crane, a heavy-left helicopter contracted by SDG&E for construction work on Sunrise Powerlink, was called early this afternoon to help battle the Eagle Fire. The massive chopper can carry up to 30,000 gallons of water or fire retardant chemicals.

 

The Eagle Fire has scorched 2,500 acres and remains just 5% contained as of 5 p.m. this evening. It is currently burning about 14 miles east of Santa Ysabel near Warner Springs on tribal lands as well as state park property.

LOCAL GROUP FILES PROTEST WITH CPUC OVER SMART METERS, WHICH REMAIN MANDATORY IN SAN DIEGO

 

43 COUNTIES IN CA HAVE VOTED TO OPPOSE SMART METERS --

AND 10 HAVE BANNED THE DEVICES

 

July 12, 2011 (La Mesa) – The Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa along with Californians for Renweable Energy, Inc. filed a protest July 6 with the California Public Utilities commission (CPUC) against San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E).

 

DEBRA L. REED NAMED CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF SEMPRA ENERGY

 

July 5, 2010 (San Diego) -– The board of directors of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) announced that Debra L. Reed has been elected chief executive officer of the company and a new member of the company’s board.

Reed, 55, succeeds Donald E. Felsinger, who will continue in the role of Sempra Energy’s executive chairman until his planned retirement at age 65 in late 2012. Neal E. Schmale, president and chief operating officer of Sempra Energy, will remain in his current role until his planned retirement later this year.

 

FAA AND CPUC FIND SDG&E REPLACEMENT HELICOPTER “CAPABLE OF OPERATING SAFELY”


June 27, 2011 (Sacramento) – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today issued an update to its preliminary incident report on two 16,000 pound Sunrise Powerlink towers dropped by an air crane earlier this month.

 

According to the updated report, a new air crane has been provided by the manufacturer, Erickson. The new helicopter has undergone test  transporting and lifting heavy loads, and has now been approved to resume construction activities in East County.

FEDERAL JUDGE HEARS ARGUMENTS IN SUNRISE POWERLINK HEARING

June 23, 2011 (San Diego) – An attorney representing local groups opposed to Sunrise Powerlink presented arguments in U.S. District Court yesterday in San Diego, seeking  to halt construction of the line on lands in East County owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Volker represented the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps and the East County Community Action Coalition. Volker argued that the BLM’s environmental review was inadequate and that its approval of Powerlink will increase the number of acres of protected lands open to development from 51 acres to 41,000 acres in McCain Valley, a scenic federally owned wilderness area.

FOR THE BIRDS: NESTS FOUL POWERLINK CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

 

 

June 18, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Nesting birds have accomplished what thus far, citizens opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink have not been able to manage: slowing down construction of the project. According to a newsletter sent by the Community Alliance for Sunrise Powerlink, some birds have sought to nest in construction equipment and in other works area, “significantly hampering construction.”

ECM SPECIAL REPORT: SKY CRANES HAVE HISTORY OF CRASHES

 

Massive helicopters used in heavy-lifting operations such as Sunrise Powerlink

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Acting on a tip from a caller who said he used to work under sky cranes during forest fire operations, ECM has conducted an investigation into the safety record of massive sky crane helicopters such as the Erickson S-64F sky cranes that dropped two 16,000-pound tower sections last week during construction of SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink.
 

 “One significant issue not being reported is the number of aircraft they, Erickson, have lost due to mechanical issues or operator error,” said the caller, who asked not to be identified but indicated he has worked on a ground crew under the aircraft and has never worked for any Erickson competitor.  He provided details on several specific accidents which an ECM investigation has independently verified.

CPUC REPORT HIGHLIGHTS SAFETY CONCERNS OVER DROPPED POWERLINK TOWERS

 

“That SDG&E would break rules and rush to put a faulty helicopter in the air again is just unconscionable...I continue to question the CPUC's monitoring of the project and again call on CPUC commissioners and the governor's office to closely evaluate these troubling events.” - Supervisor Dianne Jacob

 

SDG&E to replace helicopter and submit plan for operations in congested areas

 

FAA and CPUC approval required before resuming operations after utility found in violation of notification procedures

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The FAA has suspended operations of the Erickson S-64F Sky Crane helicopter that twice dropped towers each weighing 16,400 pounds during hoist operations for SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink. A preliminary incident report released yesterday by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) suggests a digital hook control system may be at fault. The agency also chastised SDG&E for violating requirements to keep regulators informed before returning the sky crane to service after the first accident.

FAA ISSUES STATEMENT ON SKY CRANE DROPPING POWERLINK TOWERS

 

June 16, 2011 (San Diego) The FAA has sent a written statement in response to an ECM inquiry for information on the two SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink towers dropped by a sky crane helicopter June 7 and June 10. The statement indicates a replacement helicopter has arrived in San Diego and will undergo tests Monday in Imperial County.

 

The FAA also indicates sky cranes are not certified to fly over occupied populated areas when carrying heavy loads.  The spokesman, Ian Gregor, later clarified in an e-mail that "a lift could occur over a populated area if that were absolutely necessary. However, nobody unessential to the operation could be on the ground below while the lift took place, and the lift could not take place directly over homes."

 

Below is the statement in full received this afternoon from Gregor, public information manager at the FAA Pacific Division:

WITNESS SAYS SDG&E TRIED TO HIDE EVIDENCE OF FALLEN POWERLINK TOWER & INTIMIDATED PHOTOGRAPHER



Supervisor Jacob seeks records on “investigation” by CPUC

By Miriam Raftery

Video by Jim Pelley

 

June 12, 2011 (Imperial Valley) – Jim Pelley, an Ocotillo resident, was taking his son to school on June 7th when he passed by a Sunrise Powerlink construction project where a tower was on the ground in preparation to be lifted into place. “There was nobody directing traffic,” he told ECM in an exclusive interview, adding that his wife took photos on her cell phone.



About half an hour later, while driving back on the same road, he and his wife came upon the scene of a crash where SDG&E’s sky crane helicopter had inexplicably dropped a 15,000 pound tower. Pelley started shooting photos. “One of the guys said `Hey, we’d appreciate if you wouldn’t take pictures until we clean this mess up,” he recalled.  When he refused to comply, Pelley said the employee held a hand up in front of his camera lens. “So I started shooting video,” he told ECM.

 

POWERLINK OPPOSITION LEADER TO SPEAK JUNE 16 IN EL CAJON

June 15, 2011 (El Cajon) – Laura Cyphert, a Cedar Fire survivor who co-founded the East County Community Action Coalition along with her husband, Milt, will provide an update on the legal battle against Sunrise Powerlink on Thursday, June 16 from 7-8:45 p.m.

 

OOPS! THEY DID IT AGAIN: SDG&E CHOPPER DROPS A SECOND TOWER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Dennis Richardson
June 10, 2011 (San Diego)—Just four days after its sky crane dropped a Sunrise Powerlink tower 200 feet, a second transmission line tower has toppled in the Imperial Valley.
 

Following last Monday’s accident, SDG&E promised in a press release that the company was “taking immediate steps…to investigate what occurred today in order to ensure that this does not happen again.”

 

But it did happen again. Today at 8 a.m.,  the Sun Bird Erickson Air Crane helicopter was placing the fifth of five towers near Plaster City when three of the helicopter’s four hooks released.  Dangling by just one hook, the 15,000 pound tower was lowered to the ground and released, where it tipped over.  Fourtunately, no one was injured in either incident.  But residents of East County, where construction of Powerlink is also underway, are voicing concerns over safety of workers and the public.

SDG&E HELICOPTER DROPS SECTION OF POWERLINK TOWER 200 FEET

 

June 7, 2011 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has announced that its air crane helicopter was involved in an accident today during construction activities for Sunrise Powerlink in the Imperial Valley.  The Powerlink high-voltage transmission line is also under construction through several communities in East County.  

 

“This morning a section of a transmission tower carried by the helicopter fell approximately 200- feet to the ground outside SDG&E’s Plaster City Construction Yard near the shoulder of the Evan Hewes Highway,” a media statement released by the company indicated.  View a photo of the crash.

SDG&E SIGNS SOLAR CONTRACT WITH TENASKA

 

New solar factory in San Diego to create 450 local jobs and additional 1,000 indirect jobs

March 23, 2011 (San Diego) San Diego Gas & Electric has announced a 25-year contract for up to 150 megawatts of solar energy to be generated at the Imperial Solar Energy Center West’s proposed 1,057-acre solar energy facility near El Centro. 

In addition, Soitec announced its intention to build a new solar panel manufacturing factory in the San Diego region, creating 450 local jobs and more than 1,000 additional indirect jobs.

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