DEEP: PURA to Hold Public Hearings on Tree Trimming Plans

2014 Press Release
March 4, 2014
 
PURA to Hold Public Hearings on Tree Trimming Plans

Public Comment Sought at Hamden and New Britain Meetings
 
Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced it will hold public hearings this week to solicit additional comment in its review of utility tree trimming plans.
 
The PURA initiated its investigation as part of Governor Dannel P. Malloy's multi-pronged storm disaster preparedness and recovery initiatives. In this proceeding, the PURA is expanding its evidentiary record to assess and address Connecticut utility companiesí tree trimming plans to prevent excessive weather-related infrastructure damage.
 
After a period of gathering additional public comment and evidence, the PURA may issue a revised decision clarifying new tree trimming and vegetation management requirements for Connecticut's major utilities.
 
A technical meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at PURA's offices, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, beginning at 3 p.m., at which Connecticut Light & Power Company 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, solely for the purpose of soliciting public comment on the electric companies' tree trimming plans.
 
A separate hearing is set for Thursday, March 6, 2014, at the Hamden Middle School Auditorium, 2623 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden, beginning at 6:30 p.m. That event will open with a public information session during which representatives from the United Illuminating Company will offer a presentation and overview regarding its tree trimming plans, and recent refinements proposed thereto in response to local concerns. A period of public comment will follow, during which the PURA will open up the evidentiary record in the case to hear from interested persons and local elected officials.
 
The PURA is encouraging public participation at these events, but may limit public speaking time to allow as many individuals as possible to offer comment on the record. To avoid duplication of comments, and to allow for diversity of opinion, the PURA is recommending stakeholder groups to consider appointing a representative spokesperson. The format of the daytime technical meeting and the evening comment hearings will not be a debate or question and answer forum for the public, as PURA will only issue its findings once all evidence has been presented and evaluated.  In achieving those findings, the PURA places particular value on the direct testimony of affected customers.
 
Customers may speak on the record at any of the hearings, or may file written comments with the PURA by writing to:
 
Executive Secretary
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
 
Comments may also be submitted to the PURA via e-mail addressed to 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 any written correspondence.