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CL&P Plans Statewide Tree-Trimming Project

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Connecticut Light & Power recently launched a program to increase tree trimming across the state as part of a plan to reduce future power outages.

“Expanded tree work is a critical part of our plan to reduce the vulnerability of our distribution system to outages,” Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s vice president of emergency preparedness, said in a statement. “Emergency preparedness is a top priority at CL&P, and significantly increasing our tree-trimming program is one way we’re demonstrating that commitment to our customers. We’ll be working closely with our municipal partners to coordinate our efforts.”

The power company plans to increase its budget for tree trimming to $53.5 million, which is about $27 million more than in 2011. It also plans to perform tree work on 1,600 more miles, to total 4,900 miles of the company’s 17,000 miles of infrastructure. Additional tree work includes 1,100 more miles of routine tree trimming and 500 additional miles of enhanced tree trimming and removal.

Areas that will receive additional tree work include those with poorly performing electrical circuits, major segments of circuits that serve a large number of customers, and those sections of circuits where trimming has not been done in the past.

CL&P has begun hiring about 100 additional contractor tree crews to perform the work, which is expected to continue through December. The two primary contractors doing the work are Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Lewis Tree Service Inc.

Enhanced tree trimming will be done to include all overhanging limbs, tall brush and small trees within the 8-foot clearance zone on either side of utility poles and wires, as well as dead or diseased trees.

Property owners across the state will be notified by mail and asked to respond within 15 days before routine work begins. Consent forms and details about enhanced tree trimming will be delivered to each property owner in advance of any work performed. Property owner consent is required in writing. Customers with general questions about the expanded tree work program should call CL&P’s customer service center at 800-286-2000.

Arborists with CL&P have reached out to municipal leaders across the state to review all tree-trimming plans to coordinate with local efforts, and permits will be obtained in advance. “Our goal is to strike the right balance between everyone’s need for reliable electricity and proper tree maintenance by working closely with our customers,” Dave Goodson, manager of vegetation management at CL&P, said in a statement.

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