Judge Rules in favor of TVA’s tree-cutting policy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge in Knoxville has found a more aggressive cutting of trees along TVA power transmission lines is legal.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/14fD8Ch ) reported U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan filed an order of summary judgment on July 23 against a petition by plaintiffs who sued the federal utility.

Plaintiff Vance Sherwood said an appeal is being considered.

The lawsuit came after TVA decided to remove any tree that could grow to more than 15 feet tall under power lines in a West Knoxville neighborhood. TVA plans to use the same standard on all its 15,900 miles of transmission lines.

TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said Monday the ruling and a similar one earlier this year support the utility’s ability to provide reliable electric service to its customers.