Please Write to Save Our Street Trees!

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) needs to hear from you! Please write, email or come to one of the two hearings this Wednesday or Thursday to let PURA know that you do not agree with the two electrical utility companies (UI and CL&P) clearing all trees ground to sky 8 feet from either side of an electrical line. This drastic clearing along our roadways has not been proven to increase power reliability however it will diminish the environmental benefits we gain from our trees.

Please review the background information below and write to PURA today!

UTILITY TREE REMOVAL AND PRUNING

United Illuminating has submitted a plan to the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) which calls for eventual removal of all trees and branches, except right tree/right place trees, within 8 feet on either side of its electric distribution wires from ground to sky (now known as the Utility Protection Zone or UPZ).

CL&P plans call for such removal under or near its distribution wires in much more of its territory than in the past. These plans apply to all towns and cities within UI or CL&P territory

To see what could happen to your street and roadside trees, look up at the electric distribution wires (the top wires) and measure 8 feet to the left and right, ground to sky. Any tall tree or tall growing tree within the UPZ is scheduled to be removed under the UI and CL&P plans, whether it is hazardous or healthy. If not removed, it may be severely pruned.

Two public hearings are scheduled:

PURA NOTICE-CL&P
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3 pm – Technical Meeting
6:30 pm – Public Information Session
Hearing Room 1, PURA
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT

PURA NOTICE-UI
Thursday, March 6, 2014
6:30 pm – Technical Meeting and Public Information Session

Hamden Middle School Auditorium
2623 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT

The technical meetings on March 5 with CL&P and March 6 with UI in PURA Docket No. 12-01-10 are open to the public. Their purpose is to gather and clarify information from the utilities.

Public Comments

The public will be asked to sign up to speak at the public information sessions. Remarks should be brief and not repetitive.

When you speak, you can respond to the utility presentation, and can add new comments and information relevant to your concerns about the use of rigid line clearance standards (especially ETT/ETR) by UI and CL&P. Specific personal examples of past or potential negative impact on your home, business, neighborhood or town, because of the use of rigid line clearances (previously used only by CL&P), would be helpful. If you don’t want to speak, it is still important to attend to show your concern.

You may send a written comment to PURA before or after the meetings. There will be a short period after the meetings in which PURA will welcome written public comments, and these may be particularly effective if based on what occurred at the meetings.

Written comments should include a reference to Docket No. 12-01-10,and be sent by e-mail to Pura.executivesecretary@ct.gov and Nicholas.neeley@ct.gov or via U.S. mail to PURA, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051

PURA’s final decision in this docket regarding utility tree pruning and removal will apply to both utilities. PURA’s draft decision in this docket approves the use of ETT/ETR.

For updates and additional information visit The Garden Club of New Haven.

Not seeing the forest for the trees?

Photo: Bob Luckey

Read the full story by Gina Gould in The Greenwich Citizen

Over the last two months, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there have been 241 trees chopped down in Greenwich by CL&P, with 17 more on the chopping block.

The cutting is a result of a collaborative agreement between CL&P, Metro-North and the DOT to eliminate any and all trees along the Mianus power line that might succumb to severe winds thus disrupting power or mass transit. It is the Mianus Line that powers Greenwich and the Metro-North railway from Stamford to Greenwich.

The removal of these trees seems like a logical, proactive approach to reduce the likelihood of future power loss… MORE > Read the full story by Gina Gould in The Greenwich Citizen.