Landowners and other interested parties may notice increased activity in and around Bonneville
Power Administration transmission corridors. Our crews are currently inspecting all 15,000 circuit
miles of BPA power lines and will remove and trim trees or brush that encroach on approved clearances
around the lines. These clearances have been established for safety and reliability.
BPA is dedicated to providing all citizens of the Northwest safe and reliable electricity. Maintaining
adequate clearance around power lines - both to prevent vegetation contacting lines and to provide
access to lines - is essential to meeting our public responsibility. We appreciate your cooperation
These inspections are in response to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with transmission reliability standards, including those for vegetation management. We are doing this as a result of a June 28 incident when a BPA line came into contact with a tree. This is the second such event in a year.
Keeping trees and brush away from power lines is critical to maintaining electricity reliability, and we take our reliability responsibilities seriously. In 1996, a BPA line sagged into a filbert tree, triggering a rolling blackout that affected much of the West Coast. In 2003, a tree contacting a line in Ohio initiated a huge blackout in the Midwest, East Coast and parts of Canada. More than 50 million people lost power. Thus, a single tree can have far-reaching effects.
Such outages are more than an inconvenience. They can threaten public health and safety. For example, in hot weather, our most vulnerable citizens - the sick and elderly - need fans and air conditioning. And, home health care providers often do not have back-up generators as hospitals do. Outages affecting public safety, such as traffic lights have caused serious accidents, not to mention the cost of lost productivity and wages.
Again - we appreciate your cooperation and understanding.
Questions or Comments:
If you have further questions or require assistance, please contact our Realty Office at (800) 836-6619 or e-mail email@example.com.
Letter to the Region - Stephen J. Wright and Vickie A. VanZandt - 07/11/08
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