D0408046/A0209043 Appendix A
D0408046/A0209043 Appendix B
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ALJ/CFT/tcg Mailed 8/23/2004

Decision 04-08-046 August 19, 2004


In the Matter of the Application of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (U 39 E) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Authorizing the Construction of the Jefferson-Martin 230 kV Transmission Project.

Application 02-09-043

(Filed September 30, 2002)

(See Attachment A for List of Appearances.)




I. Summary 2

II. Background 5

III. Overview of Positions of the Parties 18

IV. Project Need 21

V. Project Alternatives Studied 48


VI. EMF Issues 89

VII. Determination of Approved Route 108

VIII. Environmental Analysis 118

IX. Consistency with Public Utilities Code Section 1002 127

X. Compliance with Public Utilities Code Section 625 128

XI. Project Costs 129

XII. Comments on Proposed Decision 133

XIII. Assignment of Proceeding 138

Findings of Fact 138

Conclusions of Law 142

O R D E R 144

Attachment A - List of Appearances

Appendix A - Addendum to Final Environmental Impact Report

Appendix B - Environmental Mitigation Measures Applicable to Approved
Transmission Line Route


I. Summary

This decision grants a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to construct a new 230 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line between PG&E's Jefferson substation and PG&E's Martin substation, along with related facilities. The facilities will be constructed in the County of San Mateo and will traverse or be adjacent to the towns of Hillsborough and Colma and the Cities of Brisbane, Daly City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco. A portion of the project will be within the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) watershed near Interstate (I) 280. We adopt a construction cost cap1 of $206,988,000 for the authorized Jefferson-Martin project.

The record demonstrates that the 230 kV Jefferson-Martin project is needed in order to allow PG&E to continue to reliably meet electric demand in the San Francisco Peninsula Area beginning in 2007. In addition, the project has diversification, economic, and environmental benefits that warrant its construction more quickly than that. All major transmission lines importing power into San Francisco currently receive power from the East Bay and travel through a single corridor from the San Mateo substation to the Martin substation. The Jefferson-Martin project will help protect the San Francisco Peninsula from events disrupting supply at the San Mateo substation and/or along the San Mateo-Martin corridor. In addition, the project will tap power originating from south of the Peninsula area, thus diversifying the source of power. We find that the Jefferson-Martin project by itself is not sufficient to support closure of the Hunters Point power plant. However, a combination of the Jefferson-Martin project and additional transmission reinforcements north of the Martin substation and south of the Jefferson station would allow that plant to be closed, bringing additional economic and environmental benefits. For these reasons, the project is clearly necessary.

The proposed Jefferson-Martin project is characterized as having a southern segment and a northern segment, and the project could be configured in various ways through combinations of southern and northern route alternatives. In the southern segment, we choose a hybrid configuration that combines part of a southern underground alternative called Route Option 1B with a portion of PG&E's southern aboveground Proposed Project. Immediately north of the Jefferson substation, the authorized 230 kV Jefferson-Martin line will be located within Cañada Road and Skyline Boulevard, entirely underground except for an aboveground crossing of the Crystal Springs Dam. The underground line will transition to an aboveground configuration at a new intermediate transition tower west of Trousdale Drive. The 230 kV line will continue north on rebuilt towers and will be collocated with one circuit of an existing double-circuit 60 kV line. The aboveground 230 kV circuit will exit the SFPUC watershed at a new Glenview Drive transition tower, where it will connect to the underground northern segment.

The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) identified the underground Route Option 1B to be environmentally superior in the southern segment, but we find that this hybrid configuration is preferable because it avoids Route Option 1B's effects on residences and businesses along Trousdale Drive and El Camino Real and is more consistent with the values and wishes of the communities along the route.

The FEIR identified two underground routes for the northern segment as both being environmentally superior, and we choose one of these routes, PG&E's Proposed Project with Route Option 4B, for the northern segment. From the Glenview Drive transition tower, this northern segment will be constructed beneath San Bruno Avenue and will turn north into Huntington Avenue to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) right of way. This route may be modified slightly, depending on the preference of the City of San Bruno, to avoid a planned Huntington Avenue grade separation project. From the BART right of way, the 230 kV line will turn east into the new Lawndale Boulevard, north into Hillside Boulevard, east into East Market Street, which becomes Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and crosses San Bruno Mountain. Finally, the line will turn north on Bayshore Boulevard to the Martin substation.

The FEIR finds that the authorized route for the Jefferson-Martin project has no significant unmitigable (Class I) environmental impacts. Thus, no Statement of Overriding Considerations is needed. We adopt the mitigation measures proposed in the FEIR, with certain minor modifications that are included in an Addendum to the FEIR. We certify the FEIR and the Addendum.

During this proceeding, there was a great deal of public interest and concern regarding potential health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) that would be created by the Jefferson-Martin project. In response to these concerns, we require several changes to PG&E's preliminary EMF management plan for the Jefferson-Martin project. A significant body of scientific research has developed since we investigated EMF matters in Investigation (I.) 91-01-012, as reported in a comprehensive review of EMF studies undertaken at the Commission's direction by the California Department of Health Services (DHS).

1 Pub. Util. Code § 1005.5(a) provides that "Whenever the commission issues to an electrical...corporation a certificate authorizing the new construction of any addition to or extension of the corporation's plant estimated to cost greater than fifty million dollars ($50,000,000), the commission shall specify in the certificate a maximum cost determined to be reasonable and prudent for the facility."

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