West Penn Power’s 2019 Tree Trimming Program UnderwayWork Includes Nearly 5,000 Miles of Lines and Will Help Enhance Reliability
GREENSBURG, Pa., April 22, 2019 -- West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its 24-county Pennsylvania service area as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability. This work helps keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages.
Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment can reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as February's widespread wind storm. Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed more than 600 circuit miles of electric lines in the West Penn Power service area as part of the $43 million vegetation management program for 2019, with an additional 4,100 miles expected to be completed by year end.
"Our tree trimming is making a positive difference in keeping the lights on for our customers and more quickly restoring service in the wake of severe weather," said John Rea, recently named regional president of West Penn Power. "In 2018, we experienced 16 percent fewer tree-related customer interruptions than in the previous year. We also continue to proactively remove tens of thousands of deteriorated ash trees bordering our electric distribution lines that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer."
West Penn Power's tree program in 2019 includes about $6 million to remove more than 34,000 dead and dying ash trees along distribution lines in western Pennsylvania. As of late March, more than 4,000 ash trees had been removed.
During the upcoming months, West Penn Power will be conducting tree trimming work in the following counties and communities:
- Adams - Franklin Township
- Allegheny – Elizabeth, Forward, Freeport, Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, Bridgeville, South Fayette, Gilpin Township, East Deer Township, Harmar Township, Tarentum, Frazier Township
- Armstrong – Wayne Township, Vandergrift, Bethel Township, Boggs Township, Manor Township, North Buffalo Township, Parks Township, Valley Township, Perry Township, Plum Creek Township, Rayburn Township, Redbank Township
- Bedford – Artemas, Londonberry Township, Mann Township
- Butler – Muddy Creek Township, Oakland Township, Saxonburg Borough, Slippery Rock, Summit Township, Winfield Township, Worth Township, Buffalo Township, Butler, Donegal Township, Jefferson Township, Fairview Township
- Centre – State College, Patton Township, Beech Creek Borough, Liberty Township, Ferguson Township, Haines Township, Boalsburg, Haneyville, Gallagher, McHenry Township, Gugan Township, Lemont, Nittany Township, Walker Township, Zion, Spring Township, Centre Hall, Potter and Greeg Township, Stormstown, Halfmoon Township, Park Forest Village, Benner Township, College Township.
- Clarion – Perry Township, Toby Township, Piney Township, Redbank Township, Sligo, Porter Township, Limestone Township, Monroe Township, New Bethlehem.
- Clinton County- Beech Creek Borough, Beech Creek Township
- Elk County – Ridgeway, St. Mary's, Fox Township, Horton Township, Jay Township, James Township
- Fayette – Bullskin Township, German Township, Mt. Pleasant Township, Luzerne Township, South Union, North Union, Springhill Township, Wharton Township, Redstone Township, Connellsville, Lower Tyrone, Perryopolis, Vanderbilt, Upper Tyrone Township, Dunbar Borough, and Dunbar Township.
- Franklin – Chambersburg, Guilford, Mercersburg, Waynesboro, St. Thomas Township, Washington Township, Montgomery Township, Peters Township, Antrim Township, Greene Township, Hamilton Township
- Greene – Greensboro, Mather, Waynesburg, Morgan Township, Clarksville Borough, Spragg, Bobtown, Whiteley Township, Graysville, Jefferson Township, Dunkard Township.
- McKean County – Kane
- Potter County – Coudersport
- Washington – California, Charleroi, Marianna, McDonald, Mt. Pleasant, South Franklin, Chartiers, Centerville, Smith, North Bethlehem Township, Avella, Carol Township, Somerset Township, Cecil Township, Buffalo Township, Peters Township, North Strabane, South Strabane, Amwell Township, Robinson Township, Hanover Township, Nottingham Township, Fallowfield Township.
- Westmoreland – Jeannette, Murrysville, Unity, Youngwood, Rostraver Township, Bell Township, Loyalhanna Township, New Kensington, Lower Burrell, Upper Burrell, Washington Township, Kiskiminetas Township, Derry, Donegal, Greensburg, Hempfield Township, Plum Township, Latrobe, Allegheny Township, East Huntingdon Township, South Huntingdon Township, North Huntingdon, Salem Township.
Tree trimming is done on a five-year cycle. The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased also may be removed.
As part of its notification process, West Penn Power works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
The vegetation management work is conducted by qualified line clearance arborists under the company's direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jaflo Inc., Lewis Tree Service Inc., Penn Line Service Inc., Davey Tree Expert Company, and Townsend Tree.
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: News Media Contact: Todd Meyers, (724) 838-6650