Appalachian Power to use helicopters in maintenance


Staff Report



CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Beginning on or about June 1, Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), 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 John Ertz, senior 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 AEP, Bluefield District, 2507 Washington Street, Bluefield, WV 24701; or Charleston District, P.O. Box 1986, Charleston, WV 25327.

Herbicides used by AEP 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), Ertz said. Herbicides to be used are 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, glyphosate, imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl, fosamine, triclopyr, aminocyclopyrachlor, aminopyralid and picloram. 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 AEP 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 AEP 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 AEP’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 AEP 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 West Virginia include:

BOONE COUNTY

Bim-Sundial 69 kV – A transmission line beginning at the Bim Substation near Bim, running north, passing near Marnie, Prenter, Sylvester, Blue Pennant, Pettus, Eunice and Edwight, and ending at the Sundial Substation near Sundial.

Culloden-Wyoming 765 kV – A transmission line on metal towers beginning at the Wyoming Substation near Clear Fork, running north, passing near Burning Rock, Cyclone, Amherstdale, Lundale and Kelly Mines, and ending at Structure 123A near Sharples.

Hopkins-Danville 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Hopkins Substation, running southeast and ending at US 119.

Hopkins-Turtle Creek 12 kV -A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Hopkins Substation, running southeast and ending at US 119.

Hopkins-Turtle Creek 12 kV -A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Lick Creek, running southwest along US 119, passing Turtle Creek, Mud River and Low Gap, and ending at the Big Ugly exit off US 119. This includes both communication towers along this route.

Hopkins-Woodville 34.5 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Lick Creek Road, running northwest and ending at the communications tower.

Stone Branch-Big Creek 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Big Ugly near the community center, running southwest and ending at the communications tower.

Robinson-Robinson 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Boone Hospital, running northeast and ending at the communications tower near Price Hill.

Boone-Boone 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Ridgeview, running southeast and ending at the communications tower.

Peytona-Drawdy 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Drawdy Mountain, running west and ending at the communications tower.

Hopkins Fork 12 kV – A distribution line on wood poles beginning at Hopkins Fork Substation, running north and ending at Fosterville.

Boone-Hopkins 46 kV – A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Boone Substation off of Brushton-Ashford Road in Ashford, running south, passing the mid-point of Ridgeview and ending near Camp Creek Road.

LOGAN COUNTY

Culloden-Wyoming 765 kV – A transmission line on metal towers beginning at the Wyoming Substation near Clear Fork, running north, passing near Burning Rock, Cyclone, Amherstdale, Lundale and Kelly Mines, and ending at Structure 123A near Sharples.

Hopkins-Logan 138 kV – A transmission line beginning at Stone Branch, running southeast and ending at CR. 7 near Rock Lick.

Huff-Wharncliffe 46 kV – A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Wharncliffe Substation near Wharncliffe, running north, passing near Twisted Gun, Gilbert, Verner and Christian, and ending at the Huff Substation near Huff Junction.

Old Pond Tap 138 kV – A transmission line beginning at the Old Pond Substation near Wharton, running north and ending at Bim.

MINGO COUNTY

Huff-Wharncliffe 46 kV – A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Wharncliffe Substation near Wharncliffe, running north, passing near Twisted Gun, Gilbert, Verner and Christian, and ending at the Huff Substation near Huff Junction.

Iaeger-Wharncliffe 46 kV – A transmission line on steel poles beginning at the Wharncliffe Substation near Wharncliffe, running southeast, passing near Turkey Creek, Four Pole (Hardy), Long Pole and Short Pole (Panther), and ending at the Iaeger Substation site near Iaeger. Does not include the 46 kV taps to Hardy and Panther substations.

Sprigg-Matewan 34.5 kV – A distribution line beginning at the beginning of Warm Hollow, running northeast and ending at the communications tower.

Sprigg-Rawl Sales 12 kV – A distribution line on wood pole structures beginning at Sprigg Substation, running northwest and ending at the Rawl Sales Prep Plant.

Sprigg-Wharncliffe 46 kV – A transmission line on wood poles beginning at the Sprigg Substation near Sprigg, running southeast, passing near Matewan, Red Jacket, Thacker, Grapevine, Glen Alum and Bens Creek, and ending at the Wharncliffe Substation near Wharncliffe.

Staff Report

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