State Tackles Tree-Trimming After Widespread Power Outages
More aggressive vegetation management could help keep lights on, trees off power lines
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, 7 million people were left without electricity -- many of them because more than 100,000 trees around New Jersey fell on power lines.
If the state is going to avert widespread outages during major storms in the future, it needs to be a lot more aggressive about how utilities trim trees. That issue is emerging as a top priority of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the Legislature, and the four electric utilities operating franchises across the state.
The state regulatory agency has ordered the utilitiesand its staff to establish a working group to identify an improved tracking system to identify what kind of trees are liable to fall on power lines; whether they are live, diseased or dead; and whether or not they are within the utility’s rights of way.
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