PG&E Sues SMUD over Annexation Plans

By Published On: November 18, 2005

Pacific Gas & Electric sued to halt the forward momentum of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s proposed annexation of its Yolo County neighbors. In a lawsuit filed in the Sacramento Superior Court November 10, PG&E asserts that the muni and the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission, which is reviewing the annexation application, are violating the California Environmental Quality Act. The utility charges that they are postponing assessing the environmental impacts of the proposed expansion of SMUD territory until after voters in the cities of West Sacramento, Davis, and Woodland and in Yolo County consider the matter. “The lawsuit involves CEQA violations of the most fundamental nature, a complete failure to consider CEQA before making a decision to proceed with a project,” states PG&E?s writ. The utility asked the court to invalidate the board?s resolution approving the annexation and the muni?s annexation application undergoing a LAFCO review. The muni?s potential move into PG&E turf in Yolo County would entail building a 15- to 18-mile 115 kV line and a substation. The muni?s board voted to go ahead with annexation last May and filed an application with the LAFCO. SMUD insists that the annexation review process meets the state environmental requirements. While it has been reported that Arlen Orchard, SMUD general counsel, stated the muni would perform more studies, Orchard did not return a request for comment. PG&E has said from the get-go that it would fight any annexation attempts, which could potentially involve 85,000 customers. In September, it took issue with SMUD’s proposed annexation map, asserting that it was off by 68 miles (Circuit, Sept. 16, 2005). Docket #O5GS01582S

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