Journal News: Utilities agree to hear public's concerns

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

April 19, 2010

State utility regulators are opening up a public discussion of the best way to protect electricity transmission lines without companies clear-cutting everything in their path.

"I think we heard that perhaps there can be some improvements in how utilities do it," said Anne Dalton, a spokeswoman from the state Public Service Commission.

After state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins brought PSC staff down to answer residents questions about wholesale tree cutting, she introduced legislation to force utilities to provide detailed descriptions of the "vegetation management" work they expect to do in a community well before it was done.

Stewart-Cousins chuckled at Dalton's use of the word "perhaps," but said she was glad the PSC was opening its ears to public concerns.

"I really want to make sure that everyone participates in the process and gives the PSC an earful," Stewart-Cousins said. "The legislation will allow for the utilities across the state to understand there has to be an appropriate balance between safety issues and quality-of-life issues. We expect them to be responsive to the communities they serve."

Stewart-Cousins said the legislation is being reviewed at the committee level and she's confident it will make it to the floor of the state Legislature for a vote….

To Read More: Click Here

Journal News (April 19, 2010)