State utilities authority to host hearings on tree-trimming

The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will host two public hearings March 5 and March 6 to solicit additional comment for its review of utility tree trimming plans.

PURA initiated its investigation as part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's storm disaster preparedness and recovery initiatives. In this proceeding, the PURA is expanding its evidentiary record to assess and address utility companies’ tree-trimming plans to prevent excessive weather-related infrastructure damage.

After gathering additional public comment and evidence, PURA may issue a revised decision clarifying new tree-trimming and vegetation management requirements for Connecticut's major utilities, the agency said in a news release today.

A technical meeting has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday at PURA's offices, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain. Connecticut Light & Power Co. staff and parties to the PURA tree-trimming proceeding will review and discuss CL&P's vegetation management and tree-trimming plan. That evening, the session will re-commence at 6:30 p.m. at PURA's offices for public comment on the electric company's tree-trimming plans.

The second hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hamden Middle School Auditorium, 2623 Dixwell Ave. That event will open with a public information session during which representatives from the United Illuminating Co. will present their tree-trimming plans and recent refinements proposed in response to local concerns. A period of public comment will follow.

In addition to the hearing, customers may also file written comments with PURA by writing to: Executive Secretary, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051. Comments can also be submitted by email at PURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov. Filers should reference PURA Docket No. 12-01-10, PURA Investigation into the Tree Trimming Practices of Connecticut's Utility Companies, in written correspondence.

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