Richmond approves PG&E community resource for power shutoffs

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Richmond Memorial Auditorium

By Kathy Chouteau

At its July 28 meeting, Richmond City Council unanimously authorized City Manager Laura Snideman to sign a PG&E license agreement providing a Community Resource Center in Richmond during the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.

According to the license agreement, a PSPS event is when environmental conditions—i.e., low humidity levels, high winds and dry vegetation—create extreme fire danger, resulting in a power shutoff to protect public safety. U.S. National Weather Service red flag warnings could also potentially prompt a PSPS.

In case of a PSPS event, PG&E’s Community Resource Center will provide PG&E customers with charging services for electronic devices, as well as water, snacks and updated info regarding outages.

The license agreement, which commenced Aug. 1 and expires in ten years, affords PG&E the use of the Richmond Memorial Auditorium’s Bermuda Room and some nearby exterior property areas as its Community Resource Area. PG&E will notify the city 24 hours prior to a PSPS event, which it would anticipate using for approximately two-to-ten days at a time.

PG&E will pay the City a $500 license fee per day for each day of use of the property; it will not have financial impact on the city, per the license agreement and agenda report.

Richmond Fire Chief Adrian Sheppard and Emergency Services Manager Genevieve Pastor-Cohen submitted the agenda report regarding the license agreement to the City Council. It appeared on the Tuesday meeting’s Consent Calendar.

“During the last two fire seasons, which typically extend from about June 1 through November 30 of each year, PG&E has proactively turned off power in areas at high risk for extreme fire behavior, based on current or predicted weather conditions,” they stated in the agenda report in support of the Community Resource Center.

Learn more about PSPS event’s here.