CO-OP USE OF HERBICIDE
CO-OP USE OF HERBICIDE FOR VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
Holston Electric Cooperative maintains more than 2,600 miles of power lines in our 525 mile service area. The cooperative maintains a right of way in and around our substations and other facilities and along power lines to keep our community safe, ensure reliability and reduce the overall cost of energy.
- Safety - Trees and other vegetation can become energized if they contact high-voltage distribution lines. This could bring deadly voltage within the reach of people or pets. Holton Electric Cooperative has a responsibility to keep our community safe, and that means we must keep vegetation a safe distance from our power lines and other equipment.
- Reliability - Trees contacting power lines can lead to power outages. In fact, most power outages on the Holston Electric system are caused by trees. These outages are costly and inconvenient. Because distribution lines are part of a larger system, one tree could create problems for hundreds or thousands of people.
- Economic Responsibility - Aside from safety and reliability concerns, Holston Electric Cooperative’s vegetation management program reduces the cost of maintaining the distribution system. Since we are a not-for-profit, consumer-owned cooperative, these savings translate into lower rates for our members.
Holston Electric Cooperative uses multiple tools to maintain the right-of-way, including mowing, tree trimming or removal and the application of herbicide. The use of herbicide is a common practice by electric utilities, railroads, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and other property owners to manage the growth of vegetation. Herbicides are an environmentally sound technique for controlling tree growth while allowing grasses and wildflowers to flourish.
Holston Electric Cooperative’s contractors are experienced vegetation management companies. The herbicide products used on Holston Electric Cooperative’s system have undergone rigorous toxicological, environmental and chemical testing and have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Co-op members who have questions about our vegetation management program can contact Chuck Hurd, Right-of-Way Maintenance Coordinator, at (423) 272-1015.
We recognize that vegetation management is a necessary but often unpleasant part of maintaining our electric distribution system. We make efforts to minimize the impact of these activities while ensuring affordable and reliable energy for the communities we serve.