Cleveland National Forest Power Line Replacement Projects

Projects at a Glance

Cleveland National Forest
Fire Risk Mitigation Initiative (FiRM)

Cleveland National Forest

We currently operate and maintain a network of electric facilities located within the Cleveland National Forest (CNF). In connection with our prior application for a Master Special Use Permit (MSUP) to operate and maintain facilities within the CNF, we've worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to develop a series of projects and activities aimed at increasing the safety and reliability of existing facilities within and near the CNF. Collectively, these projects and activities are commonly referred to as the “Master Special Use Permit (MSUP) and Permit to Construct (PTC) the Cleveland National Forest Power Line Replacement Projects.”

These projects will enhance safety and reliability by replacing existing electric infrastructure that currently serves the USFS, emergency service facilities, campgrounds, homes, businesses and other customers within the CNF and surrounding areas.

The proposed projects, as outlined in the USFS’s Draft Record of Decision, include the replacement of nine 12- and 69-kilovolt (kV) electric facilities spread throughout an approximately 880-square-mile area in eastern San Diego County. The existing electric lines also extend outside of CNF boundaries.  The Draft Record of Decision also calls for the removal from service of TL 626, replacing it with reconstruction of TL 6931 and relocated Circuit 157 outside of designated wilderness areas. 


The projects include rebuilding five existing 69-kilovolt (kV) power lines and six 12-kV distribution lines. Benefits include:

  • Replacing approximately 2,100 existing wood poles with fire-resistant, weatherized steel poles that closely resemble wood.
  • Providing real-time weather monitoring.
  • Enhancing safety and reliability of the electric transmission and distribution system in and around the CNF.
  • Being designed to minimize environmental impacts during construction.
  • Combining more than 70 individual permits for operating and maintaining electric facilities on CNF land into one Master Special Use Permit with the U.S. Forest Service.

Next Steps

Certain construction activities require state and/or federal agency approval. We've submitted an application to the USFS in connection with existing facilities located within CNF.  Additionally, we've filed a consolidated Permit to Construct application with the CPUC. The CPUC’s Energy Division and USFS issued a Joint Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (DEIR/DEIS) in the Cleveland National Forest Master Special Use Permit and Permit to Construct Power Line Replacement applications on September 5, 2015. 

The CPUC and USFS issued the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement in June 2015.  The USFS issued a Draft Record of Decision on March 11, 2016.  The Final EIR/EIS, USFS Record of Decision and supporting documents may be downloaded at the following web site:

A proposed decision was issued on April 26, 2016 and our permit to construct is expected May 2016.  Once approved, the project construction will likely occur in phases over a three to five-year period. However, SDG&E crews and contractors will continue to access the existing facilities and undertake maintenance and repair activities as necessary during the environmental review process.

Notice of construction starting Sept. 26, 2016

More Information

Contact SDG&E Regional Public Affairs Manager Todd Voorhees.

Fire Risk Mitigation Initiative (FiRM)

As part of our commitment to providing safe and reliable energy, we’re proactively addressing fire risk by “hardening” the critical areas within our service area most at risk for wildfires. This effort, started in 2014, includes replacing older overhead distribution line elements using advanced technology and improving our system to adequately handle known weather conditions.

We have authorized contractors working around certain power poles in our service area. They’re collecting data and taking photos as part of the required analysis to prepare for construction work. Once the new steel poles are in place and the new wires and equipment are secured, the existing wood poles and wires will be removed and properly disposed or recycled.


  • Enhanced safety and reliability of the distribution system;
  • Improved electric system performance during extreme weather conditions; and
  • Reduced cost and environmental impacts for future maintenance activities.

More Information

Call the project’s toll-free number:

  • 1-844-804-8106