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Howls of protest prompt call for changes in tree trimming near power lines

Jul 22, 2011 12:10:00 AM - thestate.com
State lawmakers and Columbia officials are pressing for changes to make periodic tree limb trimming near power lines less drastic.

The effort comes after a firestorm of protests from residents that recent pruning by crews hired by SCE&G is excessive in heavily treed city areas, among them Shandon and Rosewood.

Work was suspended temporarily at midday Thursday at the request of officials with the state Office of Regulatory Staff, an agency that represents consumers in dealing with utilities. The agency acted after receiving calls from legislators and city officials for help in slowing the trimming, agency executive director Dukes Scott said.

Legislators and city leaders will meet today with South Carolina Electric & Gas. Co. executives to seek a new approach to a job everyone says is necessary to reduce the chance of falling branches that can result in power outages, particularly in storms.

Currently, limbs near overhead power lines are trimmed every five years.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)