PA 16-86—sHB 5150
AN ACT CONCERNING TREE WARDENS' NOTICES ON TREES AND SHRUBS PRIOR TO REMOVAL AND TREE REMOVAL AND CLEAN-UP BY PUBLIC UTILITY CORPORATIONS
SUMMARY: This act imposes two requirements on utility companies (telephone, telecommunications, and electric distribution companies) related to pruning or removing trees or shrubs around utility poles and wires.
It requires, by January 31, 2017, utilities intending to prune or remove these trees or shrubs (“vegetation management”) to begin annually providing the tree warden or chief elected official of the town or borough where the work will occur (1) a plan with the proposed roads or areas for the vegetation management activity and (2) an estimated schedule for the work. Within 14 days after receiving the plan, the town or borough must make it publicly available for the rest of the year, either electronically or by some other method.
The act also requires utilities to remove or dispose of any debris they generate from vegetation management activities in a “utility protection zone” (i. e. , the area extending eight feet from either side of the wires and anywhere above or below them). The requirement applies only to projects that a utility requests and which a tree warden or other applicable authority has approved.
The act also allows tree wardens to post notices of proposed shrub removal or pruning on groups of shrubs, instead of on each individual shrub. By law, a warden must do this at least 10 days before removing or pruning a shrub under his or her control unless its condition requires immediate attention.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016
OLR Tracking: KLM; KS; PF: tjo