Potomac Edison works on vegetation management to boost electric reliability

Potomac Edison, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), continues to conduct vegetation management work across its service area in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance system reliability.

To date, Potomac Edison tree contractors have trimmed more than 1,200 circuit miles of electric lines as part of its $17 million vegetation management project for 2013, with an additional 1,400 miles expected to be completed by year end.

During the summer months, Potomac Edison will be conducting vegetation management in rural areas of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery and Washington counties in Maryland, along with Berkeley, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties in West Virginia.

The tree trimming and vegetation management work is done on a 5-year cycle in Maryland to ensure proper clearances around electric circuits and equipment and help reduce tree-related outages, particularly during severe weather.

Vegetation is inspected and trees are pruned in a manner that preserves the health of the tree, while also maintaining safe and reliable electric service for customers.  In some cases, trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed.

As part of its notification process, Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform officials of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.

All vegetation management work is conducted to national standards by Potomac Edison's certified forestry contractors, including Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Jaflo Inc.

Potomac Edison, a unit of FirstEnergy serves about 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 132,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

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