CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- A new TVA policy to cut -- not trim -- all trees from its 16,000 miles of transmission tower rights-of-way in the Tennessee Valley has run into a buzzsaw.

The utility says a federal energy regulatory group has a new guideline that states a utility can have zero outages because of vegetation. To ensure reliability, TVA has decided to cut any tree that is or can ever grow taller than 15 feet in its 100-foot, 150-foot and 200-foot rights-of-way, according to TVA spokesman Travis Brickey.

"It's a matter of safety and reliability," he said.

Homeowners near the power towers see it differently, and many of them are madder than hornets.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.