Chattanooga City Council considering TVA tree-cutting resolution

Chattanooga City Council considering TVA tree-cutting resolution

May 22nd, 2012 by Cliff Hightower in Local - Breaking News

TVA service manager Jason Regg talks with Deane Hill Alliance President Juanita Davis-Braswell during the removal of sixty Leyland cypress trees under transmission lines Wednesday, April 11, 2012 in West Knoxville. Davis-Braswell was objecting to the removal of the trees because they provide a sound barrier to the neighborhood.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

A TVA manager told the Chattanooga City Council today that the power provider looks carefully at every tree it cuts within its rights of way.

"We don't have an interest in cutting trees for the fun of it," said Jason Regg, manager of line-applied services, which is in charge of vegetation management.

The council is looking at approving a resolution tonight to ask TVA to cut back on its tree-cutting program.

The federal utility has said it needs to cut down trees in its rights of way that are or could reach more than 15 feet tall or it could face federal fines for vegetation-related outages should the trees fall on power lines.

But Councilman Peter Murphy said those standards apply for higher-voltage lines not found in Chattanooga and the tree cutting TVA is doing is beyond the standards.

"It's not even required by the standards we have now," he said.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.