WHEELING, W.Va. – Beginning on or about Thursday, June 1, weather permitting, American Electric Power (AEP) will maintain the rights-of-way for some power lines in Marshall County by applying herbicides by helicopter, according to a press release.
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. 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 may call 260-897-8090 or 1-800-642-3622 for information. Customers may also write for information at Transmission Forestry, 46399 National Road West, St. Clairsville, OH, 43950.
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). Herbicides to be used are imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl, fosamine, triclopyr, aminocyclopyrachlor and aminopyralid. The manufacturer, colleges and governmental and independent research laboratories have extensively tested each. Questions concerning these herbicides may be addressed to the EPA and the WVDoA.
EPA and WVDoA restrictions and regulations are observed by certified AEP contractors when 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.
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 instead 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 Marshall County include:
Arroyo-East Liverpool 138kV
Kammer 345/765, 345kV Transf. Lead 765kV
Kammer 345/765, 765kV Transf. Lead 765kV
Kammer Ext. 138kV
Kammer-George Washington 138kV
Mitchell Unit 2, 345kV Generator Lead 345kV
Tidd-Weirton 138kV Line No. 1, 138kV