Keeping the area above the pipeline safe for our communities

The safety of our customers is PG&E’s most important responsibility. That's why we’re working closely with communities across our service area to keep the areas above gas transmission pipelines clear of vegetation and structures.

Our safety experts regularly inspect the area above and around a pipeline. They identify new structures or vegetation that could pose a threat or obstruct access. Certain trees and structures pose safety concerns because they can block an emergency response or critical maintenance work. They can also damage and corrode the pipe, which can lead to leaks.

If we identify a structure, tree or brush that poses a safety concern, we work closely with the property owner to remove or relocate the item further away from the pipeline. This will help ensure that the gas system continues to operate safely for years to come.

PG&E servicemen

To keep the pipeline and community safe, we follow recommendations from the United States Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA), as well as the Public Awareness for Pipeline Operator’s American Petroleum Institute.

These recommendations include:

  • Managing trees to allow safe access to the pipeline
  • Avoiding planting trees and vegetation with roots that can reach down and impact the pipeline

For more information about best practices, visit the following sites:

We must work together to reduce safety risks and help prevent accidents and damage to the pipeline.

To help keep the community and pipeline safe, community members should:

Call 811 at least two days before starting a digging of landscaping project so crews can visit the property and mark any underground utilities. This service is free.

Monitor and report any suspicious activity near pipelines by calling 1-800-743-5000.

Keep the area above and around a pipeline free of structures and vegetation that could block emergency access or damage the pipe. Please follow our guide to safe landscaping when planning new landscaping projects.

Guide to safe landscaping

An illustrated guide to safe landscaping that depicts a gas transmission line surrounded by five-foot pipe safety zone. Outside of this critical pipe safety zone is a five to 10-foot Border Zone. Outside of this secondary zone is a 10 to 14-foot Outer Zone.

Picking the right tree for the right location is an important way to help keep the area above the pipeline safe. If possible, choose low-growing plants and shrubs. Also, most trees should be planted at least 10 to 14 feet from the pipeline. Download our "Guide to Safe Landscaping" for more information on pipeline-friendly landscaping.

Need assistance or have a question?

For requests or questions on this safety work and keeping the area above the pipeline safe, please contact us at

Downloadable resources

Guide to safe landscaping (PDF, 6.0 MB)

Program brochure (PDF, 4.3 MB)

Program fact sheet (PDF, 6.1 MB)

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about our gas transmission vegetation management programs? Click on a question below to learn more. You can also call us at 1-800-743-5000 with any additional questions.