Clearing rights-of-way, or the 40 feet around most power lines, is an important part of the service that Medina EC provides to members for three reasons:
Regular trimming to direct growth away from power lines is essential to save member's time, prevent outages, and increase employee and public safety. Although we must prune trees, we know that it is not always a popular or attractive solution. Our goal is to be as respectful of the landscape as possible, and to balance beauty with the expectations and needs of our members.
Outside contractors are hired by Medina EC to trim and remove any vegetation close to the cooperative’s power lines. When necessary, mechanical and herbicides are used to accomplish this. Any dead, weak, leaning or dangerous trees tall enough to strike the wires or poles when falling are also removed. This helps reduce the number and duration of power outages. All rights-of-way clearing is monitored by a certified arborist to ensure all pruning is done to standards.
In 2015, Medina EC began a seven-year vegetation management program. This means that, if resources allow, every right-of-way on the system will be inspected and cleared, if needed, every seven years. Rights-of-way clearing will continue to occur in other areas of the system as needed for safety and for access during outages.
Members in areas where rights-of-way clearing is occurring will receive a call and/or email notifying them of work. The cooperative also keeps members notified of work locations in the latest news section on the home page of MedinaEC.org and periodically posts updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages. All contractors performing work for Medina EC have credentials showing they are working for the cooperative. If you see someone on your property or in your neighborhood and want to make sure they are authorized by Medina EC to be there, just ask. You can also always call 1-866-MEC-ELEC and our staff can verify if contractors are in the area.
Help stop potential power line problems before they start by practicing these safety measures:
Report limbs in lines. If you notice trees or branches that might interfere with power lines or pose a serious threat, please call 1-866-MEC-ELEC (632-3532). Please do not try and remove vegetation around power lines yourself as you could be seriously injured or killed.
Be mindful when you plant. If you are planning to plant trees or shrubs on your property, make sure not to plant them directly under or near power lines. Think about how tall they will grow and how wide their branches will spread. As a rule of thumb, 25 feet of ground-to-sky clearance should be available on each side of the power lines to give plenty of space. Choose your plant varieties and locations with power lines in mind. Shrubs, hedges and other plants should be kept clear of poles.
- Crews with Cedar Beetle will be clearing ROW in the area north of D'Hanis, near Brown Ranch. This work should be complete in mid-March.
- Cedar Beetle crews are also clearing ROW around Castroville. This work should be done by November 1.
- Crews with Asplundh will be clearing ROW in Bigfoot and Devine. This work began February 11 and should be complete by the end of November.
- Crews with Monarch Mountain will be clearing around Highway 57. This work also began February 11 and should be complete by the end of November.