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Electric Division

Right-of-Way (ROW)

Newport maintains roughly 1,400 miles of power lines within approximately 600 square mile service area. To keep our community safe, ensure reliability and reduce the cost of energy, NU maintains a Right-of-Way (ROW) in and along power lines, our substations, and other facilities.

Trees contacting power lines can lead to power outages which are not only inconvenient but also costly. One tree can create problems for hundreds or thousands of people if distribution or transmission lines are involved, as they are part of a larger system. Most power outages on the Newport Utilities system are caused by trees.

While also responsible for outages, trees and vegetation can become electrically charged through contact with high-voltage distribution lines, resulting in lethal amounts of voltage within the reach of people and pets. It is NU's responsibility to maintain safety in our community by keeping vegetation a secure distance from power lines and other equipment.

Newport Utilities' vegetation management program not only helps to mitigate safety and reliability concerns, but it also reduces the cost of maintaining the transmission and distribution system NU uses multiple methods to maintain the ROW, through tree trimming or removal, mowing, and the application of herbicides.

Herbicide use as a means of vegetation growth management is an industry standard for electric utilities, railroads, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and other property owners. NU requires that all state, local, and federal laws are adhered to, and any required licenses or permits must be obtained. Aquatic and pollinator friendly products and practices will be used. A low-volume backpack or mark-and-squirt application targeting only woody, stemmed plants will occur within a reasonable amount of time after a mechanical clearing. This will allow dormant grass and wildflower seed to repopulate the ROW. Newport Utilities' contractors are experienced vegetation-management companies. The herbicide products used by NU have undergone rigorous toxicological, environmental and chemical testing, are endorsed by local apiarist, and have been approved federally.

NU makes every effort to minimize the impact of these activities while ensuring affordable and reliable energy for the communities we serve. Please contact Terryl Denton, right-of-way maintenance coordinator, at (423)532-3547, with questions pertaining to the NU vegetation management program.

Treatment Area List Summer 2017 Buffer Zones

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