TVA explains vegetation problem around lines - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TVA explains vegetation problem around lines

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- With a boost in recent funding it's all hands on deck. TVA is playing catch-up with the problem areas they couldn't get to in years past.

"Within the last few years we are more adequately funded for this program. Previously the funding wasn't there to do it to the extent that we're doing now," said TVA Manager Jason Regg.

Which means if homeowners have been just trimming trees near or around TVA power lines, that will no longer fly.

Case in point; Rodney Veron planted a tree for his son, a few years back TVA just trimmed it.

Veron said, "we talked them into just topping it and told them we would take care of it if it got bigger. Didn't work this time."

Veron said he understands why.

As TVA showed us when they took us on a chopper ride, they've already begun sweeping the near 16,000 miles of line. Mowing and herbicide will be done in two and three year intervals. Tree cutting will be done every five years.

Regg says anything that can grow more than 15 feet under or near the lines will have to go,if that tree was to draw and go to the ground it would be a safety issue for the property owner but it also could effect hospitals, businesses, schools and traffic lights."

Not to mention, if there's a disturbance in power caused by vegetation even for just a moment, TVA will be fined upwards of $100,000. Regg says it doesn't take direct contact from vegetation to cause problems.

That's the reason for clearing so much space.

Regg says they'll do all they can to help homeowners understand why, "I bought my property for the trees on it. I don't have a lines on it. But we're always going to be sensitive to them because no body wants to have their trees removed but everybody likes to have power."

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