Homeowners upset with TVA tree trimming policy

6:49 PM, Aug 16, 2012   |    comments
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Homeowner's drove hours to attend Thursday morning's Tennessee Valley Authority board meeting.  They raised their concerns tied to high-voltage transmission lines and tree trimming.

TVA has more than 15,000 miles of transmission lines crossing 7 states.  The power-provider tells 10News they keep trees away from lines to prevent major outages.

The large group of homeowners believe TVA is not following its own right-of-way clearance policy.  The residents said too many trees are being chopped and too much herbicide is being sprayed near the lines.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent in the name of safety and reliability when there has only been one documented case of a tree coming into contact with a line, which caused no TVA damage, no injuries and no interruption of service to customers," said Larry Silverstein of Knoxville. 

"We've had instances in this country where a single tree contract caused millions of people to be out of service.  Our real reason is not to be mean, or ugly or anything like that.  It's just to do our job to keep the electricity on," said Tom Kilgore, TVA President & CEO.

The upset citizens want TVA's board to make changes to the policy.  Silverstein said the group has brought their complaints to the board before and no changes were made. 

TVA believes they are following rules and protecting customers.

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