Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary, will use the aerial application of herbicides to help maintain the rights-of-way under some of its West Virginia power lines. The maintenance program is designed to enhance the safety and reliability of its electric service by controlling vegetation that has the potential to interfere with power lines.

The company will be applying the herbicides in Clay, Braxton, Nicholas and Webster counties beginning in early September.

The work will be performed in accordance with regulations established by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (DOA), with herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state DOA.

"The aerial application of herbicides is the safest, most efficient and most economical means of controlling vegetation along our rights-of-way," said Rex Bartlett, manager, Forestry Services, Mon Power. "However, in some of the more populated areas, as well as near parks, ponds and other environmentally sensitive locations, the company will use manual clearing methods."

Mon Power will give advance notice before spraying a property to persons who submit a written request, which must include the name, mailing address, property location and telephone number of the person asking for notification.

Landowners or tenants also have the option of entering into a right-of-way maintenance agreement with Mon Power, thereby taking individual responsibility for keeping the rights-of-way clear. Such agreements provide for compensation to the landowner, but also require that rights-of-way be maintained according to specifications outlined by the company.

By law, Mon Power is required to report that its contractors will be using the following herbicides: 2,4-D, triclopyr, glyphosate, picloram, fosamine, and Imazapyr. Any questions about the herbicides should be referred to the state DOA or to the EPA.