West Penn Power continues to conduct vegetation management work across its 24-county service area in Pennsylvania as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance system reliability. To date, West Penn tree contractors have trimmed more than 2,200 circuit miles of distribution and subtransmission lines as part of its $25 million vegetation management spend for 2013, with an additional 2,300 miles expected to be completed by year end.
During the summer months, West Penn will be conducting vegetation management in California, Upper Saint Clair, Connellsville, Saxonburg, Harrison City, Avella, Avonmore, New Alexandria, Pleasant Unity, Pleasant Gap, McConnellsburg, Taylorstown and numerous other rural locations.
The tree trimming and vegetation management work is done on a 5-year cycle to ensure proper clearances around electric circuits and equipment and help reduce tree-related outages, particularly during severe weather. Vegetation is inspected and trees are pruned in a manner that preserves the health of the tree, while also maintaining safe and reliable electric service for customers. In some cases, trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed.
As part of its notification process, West Penn works with municipalities to inform officials of vegetation management schedules. In addition, landowners where vegetation work is to be performed are notified prior to the start of work.
All vegetation management work is conducted to national standards by West Penn's certified forestry contractors, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jaflo Inc., Lewis Tree Service Inc., Penn Line Service Inc., and Davey Tree Expert Company.
For the 15th consecutive year, FirstEnergy, on behalf of its 10 utility companies, including West Penn, recently was recognized as a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters. The award recognizes utility companies that promote the dual goals of dependable utility service and abundant, healthy trees along America's streets and highways. Award-winning companies demonstrate excellence in tree care, training and public education.