Potomac Edison’s 2019 Tree Trimming Program UnderwayWork Includes Special Program to Remove Trees Damaged by Emerald Ash Borer
WILLIAMSPORT, Md., April 22, 2019 -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability.
The work helps keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages. Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as the storms experienced this past winter.
Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed more than 575 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Potomac Edison service area as part of the company's approximately $33.6 million vegetation management program for 2019, with an additional 2,235 miles expected to be completed by year end.
The 2019 budgeted amount includes about $750,000 to complete a special program in the Maryland service area to remove dead and dying ash trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer, targeting approximately 3,500 trees.
"The tree trimming we have done over the last several years has helped cut the number of outages from trees and limbs falling into our lines by nearly half, significantly reducing service interruptions for our Potomac Edison customers," said James Sears, President of Maryland Operations for Potomac Edison. "Between 2011 and 2019, our trimming program helped reduce both the number of tree-related outages by about 41 percent and the number of Potomac Edison customers impacted by a tree-related service interruption by 29 percent. We expect our special ash tree removal program will further enhance service reliability for our customers."
The vegetation management work is conducted by certified forestry experts under the company's direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Lewis Tree, N.G. Gilbert, Nelson Tree Service, All Reliable Services and Wright Tree Service.
As part of its notification process, Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
During the upcoming months, Potomac Edison will be conducting tree trimming work in the following counties and communities:
- Allegany – Cresaptown, Corriganville, Cumberland, Flintstone, Frostburg, LaVale, Little Orleans, Luke, McCoole, Mt. Savage, Oldtown, Rawlings, Westernport
- Berkeley (WV) – Bunker Hill, Falling Waters, Glengary, Hedgesville, Inwood, Martinsburg
- Carroll – Taneytown, Union Bridge
- Frederick – Frederick, Myersville, New Market, Thurmont, Woodsboro, Yellow Springs,
- Garrett – Crellin, Deer Park, Hutton, Mtn. Lake Park, Mt. Zion, Oakland, Swanton
- Grant (WV)– Petersburg
- Hampshire (WV) – Augusta, Springfield, Sunrise Summit
- Jefferson (WV) – Bardane, Charlestown, Kearneysville, Harpers Ferry, Ranson
- Mineral (WV) – Bloomington, Carpendale, Keyser, New Creek, Ridgeley, Wiley Ford
- Montgomery – Damascus
- Morgan (WV) – Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, Hedgesville
- Washington – Big Pool, Cascade, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Hagerstown, Mt. Lena, Sabillasville, Sandy Hook, Williamsport
Tree trimming is done on a five-year cycle in Maryland. Beginning in June 2019, trimming in Potomac Edison's West Virginia service area will transition from a five-year cycle to a four-year cycle. Vegetation is inspected, and trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. In some cases, trees that are considered to present a danger or are diseased may be removed.
Potomac Edison serves about 270,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 137,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at www.potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers using bucket trucks to trim trees near FirstEnergy power lines are available for download on Flickr.
CONTACT: Aaron Ruegg, (330) 761-6072