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PG&E Community Pipeline Safety Initiative

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PGE logo with the words community pipepline safety initiative Novato, California

Update re: PG&E Gas Valve Project located on S Novato Blvd across from Cowbarn Lane

As part of its Pipeline Safety Initiative, PG&E is installing an automated gas valve system located on South Novato Boulevard across from Cowbarn Lane. This system includes above ground valve assemblies that are remotely controlled via a wireless antenna connection—allowing PG&E to shut-off the flow of natural gas through its pipelines in the event of an emergency. This is one of many safety improvements PG&E is making to its natural gas system throughout California. 

The site on which PG&E is installing the gas valve system was formerly owned by the City of Novato and has long hosted two underground natural gas transmission lines. PG&E acquired the property from the City through an eminent domain procedure under its rights as a public utility. PG&E’s assertion of its rights of eminent domain compelled the City to transfer the property to PG&E ownership.

The activities of a public utility, such as PG&E, are regulated exclusively by the California Public Utilities Commission. Accordingly, PG&E was not required to obtain any discretionary permits (e.g., use permit) from the City for the automated gas valve facility, including the wireless antenna allowing remote control of the shut-off valves. Despite this circumstance, PG&E expressed a desire to work with the City to obtain feedback on the fencing and landscaping proposed to secure and screen views of the gas valve facility.   

City staff welcomed PG&E’s offer, viewing it as an opportunity for nearby residents to influence the design of the fencing and landscaping proposed to screen the automated valve system. Although PG&E is exempt from the City’s review processes, they are looking forward to the public hearing with the Design Review Commission to receive neighbor and Commission input on the fencing and landscaping. The upcoming hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 7:30pm at Novato City Hall, and will focus solely on the fencing and landscaping proposed by PG&E. 

If you have questions or comments about the gas valve facility and/or PG&E’s current construction activities, please contact PG&E representative William Calvin at (707) 423-2431.

Gas Safety Work in Your Neighborhood

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is working with customers and the City of Novato to help ensure safety crews have immediate access to natural gas transmission pipelines in case of an emergency. This important safety work involves reviewing structures, tress and brush located near the gas pipeline that could block emergency access for first responders or damage the pipeline.

Photo of PGE gas safety

For any tree or structure that needs to be replaced for safety reasons, PG&E will work with the property owner to develop a plan that protects public safety while preserving the character and natural beauty of the community. Please note that PG&E will not move forward with any planned work on private property without a mutual agreement in place.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the planned safety work in Novato, please contact PG&E's Government Relations Representative, Mark Van Gorder at (415) 521-0487 or

Learn more about the Community Pipeline Safety Initiative, PG&E gas safety efforts and PG&E gas transmission pipeline locations.



Design Review Commission Meeting  
Date & Time:
January 17, 2018 at 7:30pm
Location: Novato City Hall, 901 Sherman Avenue

PG&E will present a landscape and fencing proposal for the gas valve project located on S Novato Blvd across from Cowbarn Lane.

City Council Meeting
Date & Time:
February 28, 2017 at 6:30pm
Novato City Hall, 901 Sherman Avenue

PG&E Pipeline Safety Initiative Tree Mitigation Presentation >>

City Council Meeting
Date & Time:
July 12, 2016 at 6:30pm
Novato City Hall, 901 Sherman Avenue

Representatives from PG&E will present the Community Pipeline Safety Initiative to the City Council.

Staff Report >>
PG&E Presentation >>


PG&E_Gas Safety Work flier in Spanish




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