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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'PG&E' Category


06
Sep

Utility Contracts Weed Eating Goats to Prevent Wildfires in Northern California

(Beyond Pesticides, September 6, 2013) The utility for northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has enlisted the help of over 900 goats to clear weeds and dried brush on 100 acres of its property. The goats will be used to clear poison oak and brush that is considered a fire hazard. Goats are being used across the country as an effective least-toxic solution for weed management. The pilot project started this past August and will run through mid to late September. The project is overseen by Flying Mule Farm owner Dan Macon, who has been contracting goats for land clearance for close to 10 years. The goats for the project are coming from Macon’s farm as well as Star Creek Ranch, a goat and sheep operation in the Central Valley. Goats graze the area in fenced in 5-to 10-acre sections and have already proven to be incredibly effective by reducing one area with two foot high grass to less than an inch high in just 24 hours. The goats were brought in specifically to reduce dry flammable vegetation. “We don’t want fires being sparked and goats are the perfect opportunity,” said Lynne Tomachoff of the California Department of Forestry […]

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21
Sep

Utility Company Sued Over Pollution from Toxic Wood Poles

(Beyond Pesticides, September 21, 2009) In a federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco earlier this month, the environmental watchdog group Ecological Rights Foundation (ERF) claims that dioxin is being discharged from Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) utility poles into the San Francisco Bay, violating both the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Dioxin is a contaminant in the wood preservative pesticide pentachlorophenol (penta), the chemical used to treat more than one million PG&E utility poles in Northern California. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen. It also causes birth defects at extremely low levels. The ERF suit asks the court to stop PG&E from discharging dioxin from its utility poles, a move that could eventually lead to wide scale replacement of the ubiquitous penta-treated wood poles. “These are the common, I guess you could say ‘classic,’ brown wood poles you see holding up wires on practically every street,” says ERF attorney Bill Verick. Pentachlorophenol (penta) is a chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon, closely related to other chlorophenols, hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans, all of which are found in commercial grade penta, along with secret “inert” ingredients. It was 1978 when EPA began its review of wood preservatives, including […]

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