Five months from now, Sonoma County intends to launch its program to become the power supplier to 220,000 local homes and businesses, displacing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from its position of energy dominance.
Members of the Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday demanded more information about the status of a long-delayed cleanup project on the banks of Santa Rosa Creek downtown.
Downtown, on the north bank of Santa Rosa Creek, a large mural of a fish graces a concrete retaining wall along the Prince Memorial Greenway.
The colorful artwork is meant to celebrate one of the key goals of the $25 million public works project — the restoration of the creek’s aquatic habitat.
But the health of the creek remains threatened by what lies hidden behind that retaining wall — soil and groundwater contaminated with a toxic brew of oil and other poisonous byproducts left behind at a former manufactured-gas plant.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. closed the plant in 1924 and now is spending tens of millions of dollars to clean the site at First and B streets, now mostly covered by the parking lot of the Westamerica Bank building.
But 26 years after regulators ordered the property cleaned up, it still hasn’t been and won’t be for years.
Sebastopol and PG&E appear to be on a collision course following the city’s adoption Thursday of a ban on the installation of SmartMeters, the controversial wireless devices that critics contend are a threat to public health.
Sonoma County supervisors said Tuesday they hope to strike a ‘balanced approach’ between power line safety and environmental protection under PG&E’s major transmission line through the county.
Two hundred people turned out Thursday in Santa Rosa to rail against PG&E SmartMeters, complaining that individual opt-out fees are unfair, that cities should be able to get out of the program and that the wireless technology is a health threat.