Thursday, December 4, 2014

Managing Trees & Vegetation Around Electric Transmission Lines

The American Transmission Company (ATC) informed the Village that they will be clearing trees in the right-of-way around Bellevue’s FIRY11 electric transmission line (map is listed below) to maintain system safety and reliability.  This project will take place sometime in early 2015.

ATC has several overhead electric transmission lines in the Village of Bellevue.  Easements between American Transmission Company (ATC) and private land owners grant ATC the right to build, operate and maintain a power transmission line and clear vegetation.  An easement is a permanent, legal land right to use the land or property of another owner for a special purpose.  Utilities like ATC typically acquire easements with landowners rather than purchase the property outright.  As the property is transferred and sold to new owners the easement remains in place.

According to ATC, managing the growth of trees and other vegetation around the transmission lines is critical in helping ensure safe and reliable electric transmission.  For safety and reliability reasons, trees and other vegetation that can interfere with electric transmission lines are controlled and managed around electric transmission lines and facilities. Trees can compromise safety by arcing or sparking which can lead to fire or electrocution. Trees also can cause interruptions in electric service if adequate clearances are not maintained and/or they grow into or fall on the lines. ATC identifies and addresses vegetation concerns to provide the highest level of reliability and to keep your family safe.
The right-of-way is maintained for safety and reliability
ATC conducts right-of-way vegetation management approximately every five years with the goal of removing all woody vegetation from the easement. Interim work to trim or remove vegetation is sometimes needed as a result of periodic inspections. A transmission line right-of-way typically includes land directly beneath the wires (wire zone) and land between the wire zone and the edge of the right-of-way (border zone). In all cases, woody vegetation within the wire zone will be cleared regardless of height. Tall-growing trees and vegetation, woody brush and invasive species will also be cleared from the border zone, but some small, low-growing shrubs and plants may be permitted. While many property owners will use the easement area for gardens, prairie plantings, wild flowers, along with other non-vegetation uses, anything planted in the easement is at risk for removal should conditions or circumstances relating to the operation or maintenance of our facilities warrant it. 

Forestry crews are contracted
ATC contracts with professional tree trimming and removal companies that have extensive experience in proper pruning and removal techniques. These crews participate in required training sessions on a variety of work-related topics and field issues. They carry identification showing their affiliation with ATC.

Please note:  The Village of Bellevue does not have authority to regulate transmission line clearance policies and procedures nor is the Village responsible for line clearance activities. 
Other Important Information (Link to ATC's website)

Contact Information

American Transmission Company  
David D. Hovde
Senior Local Relations Representative
American Transmission Company
P.O. Box 6113
De Pere, WI  54115-6113
phone:  920-338-6550
toll free:  866-899-3204 (x6550)
fax:  920-338-6508
Contracted Forestry Services
Boyd Rasmussen - ISA Certified Arborist
General Foreman
Wright Tree Service
N/E Wisconsin
P.O. Box 155
Rosendale, WI 54974
phone:  920-723-3167