One of the MERTT Council’s first actions was to conduct a series of statewide trainings for Maryland Forest Service field staff, the electric utilities vegetative staff and their tree-trimming contractors. The trainings covered topics such as electric utility equipment, utility vegetative management, tree caused outages, applicable ANSI standards and proper tree trimming in accordance with Maryland’s Roadside Tree Law and Licensed Tree Expert Law. The trainings were designed to enable a common understanding of daily operation between all parties. The trainings were held one in each of MD DNR’s four regions which also roughly correlate to the territories of the six utilities. The cross training was determined to be successfully as communication between both sides became more effective and enforcement actions dropped in number.
The MERTT Council has gone full circle and determined 17 years later, there was again a need to hold the cross training for state and utility vegetative management staff. The training covered the basics of the first training with additional information on conducting work on state lands and an emphasis on two new major changes to utility vegetative management in Maryland – the recently adopted Public Service Commission’s Vegetative Management Requirements as well as the Commission’s Rule Making 43. The regulations and rule making outline line clearance distances based on line voltage, customer notification, and the specimen tree designation which enables these specific trees to not be trimmed or removed. This year approximately 250 staffers attended the statewide trainings and there have been requests to conduct the training on a regular basis from the electric utility companies.
For more information, please contact:
Supervisor, Urban & Community Forestry
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
(410) 260-8511 Fax: (410) 260-8595