(Editor’s note: This press release provided by Appalachian Power.)
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Beginning on or about June 1, Appalachian Power will maintain the rights of way for some power lines in West Virginia by applying herbicides by helicopter.
“The company generally makes aerial maintenance applications only in less populated areas where terrain and accessibility make it difficult for ground-based crews to safely clear rights of way,” said Travis Klinebriel, utility forester.
Rights of way in populated areas, as well as near parks, ponds and other sensitive areas are maintained by other means.
Customers with questions about the company’s aerial maintenance program can call a toll-free number, 1-800-642-3622, for information. Customers also can write for information at Appalachian Power, Attn: Transmission Forestry, P.O. Box 1986, Charleston, WV 25327.
“Herbicides used by AEP and Appalachian Power have been registered for use on rights of way by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDoA),” Klinebriel said.
Herbicides to be used are glyphosate, imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl, fosamine, triclopyr, aminocyclopyrachlor and aminopyralid. Each has been extensively tested by the manufacturer, colleges and governmental and independent research laboratories.
Rigid EPA and WVDoA restrictions and regulations are carefully observed by Appalachian Power contractors in applying herbicides. All areas to be treated are visually checked by helicopter pilots in advance to verify the location of any sensitive areas and to ensure that people or domestic animals are not visible in the area to be maintained. All applications are made by contractors who are certified applicators. Questions concerning these herbicides may be addressed to the EPA and the WVDoA.
Right of way maintenance agreements between Appalachian Power and landowners are available to landowners who prefer to accept responsibility for clearing the right of way crossing their property in lieu of aerial application of herbicides.
The agreement compensates the landowner by an amount equivalent to the cost of aerial herbicide application, provided the work meets Appalachian’s specifications.
Residents who have questions about the program or who want to alert the company to the location of sensitive areas near power lines, such as springs, wells, streams, lakes, ponds, orchards, crop areas, gardens, pastures, meadows, year-round dwellings, public recreation areas and Christmas tree plantations, should also contact the company. To prevent any misunderstanding about the location of the sensitive areas being reported, the number of the nearest pole or tower should be provided. Numbers are posted on utility poles and on one leg of utility towers.
After the maintenance program begins, a 24-hour telephone service at the above number will provide information daily on locations scheduled for maintenance.
Complaints about possible damage resulting from herbicide applications should be made by contacting Appalachian Power at its toll-free number or the above addresses. Complaints also may be directed to the WVDoA, Pesticide Regulatory Programs Unit, which can be reached in Charleston at 304-558-2209.
Lines scheduled for maintenance in Mason County, W.Va. include:
Amos-Mountaineer 765 kV – A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Sporn Station on Graham Station Road near New Haven and running south, passing the midpoints of Letart, Leon, Liberty and Winfield and ending at the Amos Station near Poca.
Culloden-Gavin 765 kV – A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Culloden Station along James River Turnpike near Culloden and running north, passing the midpoints of Hurricane, Buffalo, Leon and Letart and ending at the Ohio River along Ohio River Road near Point Pleasant.
Kyger Creek-Sporn 345 kV – A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Sporn Station on Graham Station Road near New Haven and running west, passing the midpoint of Letart and ending at the Ohio River along Ohio River Road in Point Pleasant.
Leon-Ripley 138 kV – A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Leon Station near Dunham Road and running east, crossing the midpoint of Evans and ending at the Ripley Station along Klondyke Road in Ripley.
Mountaineer-Sporn 1 and 2 138 kV – A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Sporn Station on Graham Station Road near New Haven, running north and ending at the Mountaineer Station on Graham Station Road near New Haven.
Sporn-South Buffalo 138 kV – A transmission line on steel structures beginning at the Sporn Station located on Graham Station Road near New Haven and running south, passing the midpoints of Lockland, Leon and South Buffalo and ending at the South Buffalo Station.