TVA Cutting Down More Trees

TVA is tightening its tree-cutting policies along power line rights-of-way, reports the News Sentinel.
New requirements with stiff fines created to prevent blackouts are forcing the federal utility to remove most any tree capable of growing more than 15 feet high, according to TVA spokesman Travis Brickey.
TVA has been working to clear the rights-of-way under the 2,594 miles of transmission line of 230 kilovolts or greater that stretch across its seven-state territory.
So far, 1,500 miles have been cleared to the full width of the right of way, 500 miles have been partially cleared and there are 500 miles of completely uncleared right of way, according to Regg.
“We still have a long way to go, but we have made an impact,” he said.
TVA has a 15,900 miles of transmission line across its seven-state coverage area and anticipates that lower voltage lines will be included in the guidelines at some point, so the right of way area of the whole system will need to be dealt with eventually, Regg said.
Driving the effort is a set of federal regulations backed by hefty penalties, which came out of a major power failure that struck the Northeast U.S. in 2003.

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