Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station Project

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Application No. A.10-04-031

Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website for the environmental review of Pacific Gas and Electric Companyís (PG&Eís) proposed Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station Project (Project). This proposed Project includes construction and installation of a new switching station and associated facilities, and rearrangement of the existing electrical power circuits.

The objectives of the proposed Project are to improve transmission reliability by allowing PG&E to quickly detect power outages on the existing 115-kV lines, and to increase operational flexibility by allowing PG&E to re-route power on the existing 115-kV lines to serve existing customers while simultaneously performing routine or emergency maintenance on lines connected to the station.

The proposed Project is subject to review under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the CPUC is the CEQA Lead Agency. A CEQA review was performed to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with this Project. This website provides access to public documents and information relevant to the CEQA.


PG&Eís Application and associated Proponentís Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station Project may be viewed here (50 MB).

Project Description

The PG&E Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station Project is located north of the City of Salinas in Monterey County, northeast of the intersection of Crazy Horse Canyon Road and San Juan Grade Road.

The Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station replaces the Lagunitas Switch, a power line tower located approximately 850 feet west of the Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station site. The Lagunitas Switch was removed once the Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station was operational, and the 115-kV lines that enter and leave the new switching station have been sectionalized and renamed. No new power lines were constructed as part of this Project.

Environmental Review

PG&Eís Application and PEA were deemed complete by the CPUC on September 3, 2010. The CPUC subsequently determined that an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was the appropriate CEQA document to evaluate potential environmental issues associated with this project.

Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration

On March 9, 2011, the CPUC released a Notice of Intent to Adopt a MND for the Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station Project. The findings of the Draft IS/MND are that the proposed project, as mitigated, would not have any significant effects on the environment.

The Draft IS/MND can be viewed here (26 MB).

Public Review Period

The Draft IS/MND underwent a public review period from March 9, 2011, through April 8, 2011.

Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration

Comments on the Draft IS/MND were submitted to the CPUC during the public review period ending on April 8, 2011. The CPUCís responses to the comments received are presented in Chapter 5 of the Final IS/MND. The Final IS/MND was published on May 19, 2011. The conclusions of the Draft IS/MND remain unchanged in the Final IS/MND; the proposed project would not have a significant effect on the environment.

The Final IS/MND can be viewed here (28 MB).

CPUC Actions After Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) Publication

There is no comment period following issuance of the Final IS/MND. The CPUC evaluated and adopted the Final IS/MND on June 17, 2011 as being compliant with CEQA. The CPUC issued a Proposed Decision on the Application, and a Notice of Determination was mailed to the State Clearinghouse on August 10, 2011. The 30-day statute of limitations for court challenges begins after the Notice of Determination is filed.

Commission Decision 

The CPUC approved the project on June 17, 2011 in Decision 11-06-011.

Mitigation Monitoring 

A Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan (MMCRP) was prepared to ensure compliance with applicant proposed measures (APMs) and mitigation measures approved in the Final IS/MND. This MMCRP was developed to provide guidelines and standardize procedures for environmental compliance during project implementation. The procedures were developed in coordination with PG&E and CPUC and define the reporting relationships, the roles and responsibilities of the projectís environmental compliance team members, compliance reporting procedures, and the communication protocol.

The MMCRP can be viewed here (3.5 MB).

Notice to Proceed

Notices to Proceed (NTPs) will be issued by the CPUC for each construction activity. Issuance of NTPs will be contingent upon PG&E compliance with pre-construction requirements as specified by the approved mitigation measures and responsible agency permitting requirements. NTPs that have been issued to PG&E by the CPUC are noted in the table below.

    Issued Notices to Proceed 

    NTP #
    Date Request Received
    Date Approved


    Pre-construction surveys, installation of exclusion fencing, and burrow excavation
     2/27/2012 3/12/2012


    Tree removal--Rescinded
    3/2/2012 3/12/2012;
    Rescinded on 4/5/2012


    Tree removal and trimming, construction of access roads
    7/16/2012 8/17/2012
    Extension of NTP #3 N/A 3/20/2013


    Installation of nesting bird visual barrier fence
    2/12/2013 2/22/2013


    Construction of switching station facility 2/12/2013 4/8/2013

Minor Project Modifications 

The CPUC reviews PG&Eís Minor Project Modifications (MPMs) according to the process outlined in the MMCRP. PG&Eís Minor Project Modification proposals and the CPUCís review are provided in the table below.

    Completed Minor Project Modifications 

    MPM #
    Date Proposal Received
    Date Review Completed


    Use of Hollister Project helicopter landing zone and access road
     7/31/2012 8/16/2012


    Addition of 3.6 acres of temporary workspace for project construction
    7/31/2012 8/16/2012


    Additional 215-foot segment of access road
    7/31/2012 8/16/2012


    Removal of 76 additional oak trees 7/31/2012 8/16/2012


    Extended use of logging road proposed in MPM #3
    10/4/2012 10/12/2012


    Alternative source of water
    Revised on


    Construction of a stormwater detention basin
    2/12/2013 3/25/2013


    BMP substitution for wheel washers
    5/15/2013 5/24/2013


    Grass mowing within exclusion fencing
    5/15/2013 5/24/2013


    Access to and construction of mitigation wetlands 9/9/2013


    Installation of a barbed wire fence around the property 6/6/2014


    Alternative slope stabilization methods 7/23/2014


    New and relocated construction areas 9/8/2014

Project Schedule

Construction of the project began on Sepember 4, 2012, abd was completed on September 1, 2015. The Crazy Horse Canyon Switching Station is now in operation. Restoration activities will continue for approximately 3-5 years, as required by applicable mitigation measures, project plans, and agency permits.

For Additional Information

The CPUC, through its Environmental Review Team, manages the environmental evaluation of the proposed project. To request additional information or to be added to the mailing list, please contact us by email, fax, or phone, as follows:

Project email:
Project fax number: (650) 373-1211
Project voicemail: (650) 340-4803

The CPUCís Project Manager is:

Lisa Orsaba, CPUC Project Manager
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor
San Francisco CA 94102

This page contains tables and is best viewed with Netscape or Internet Explorer. Please report any problems to the Energy Division web coordinator.