CHIVUKULA MEASURE TO MITIGATE FUTURE STORM DAMAGE BY REQUIRING VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ADVANCES

(TRENTON) — The Assembly Utilities panel recently approved legislation sponsored by the panel’s Chairman Upendra J. Chivukula that would require electric utilities to conduct vegetation management in a bid to mitigate future storm damage.

“One of the lessons we learned from Sandy and from information provided by utilities that testified at an earlier hearing of the Assembly Utilities panel, is the importance of vegetation management in preventing power outages. Sandy took out more trees in New Jersey than any previous storm in recorded history. New Jersey utilities reported that more than 113,000 trees were destroyed or damaged by Sandy, leading to the downing of thousands of poles and wires, causing major power outages. More than 9,000 utility poles were reportedly downed by Sandy. By requiring electric utilities to conduct vegetation management, the measure we sponsored will mitigate future storm damage,” Chivukula (D-Somerset\Middlesex) said.

The measure (A-4285) would require electric utilities to conduct vegetation management on property prior to sale, if the utility finds the presence of dangerous vegetation on the property, once it is notified of its impending sale by the property owner.

The bill defines “dangerous vegetation” as a tree, shrub, plant, or any other vegetation growing in, near, or adjacent to a service line of the utility, which may fall into, touch, affect or otherwise interfere with the service line as determined by the utility.