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Illinois Power's aggressive tree cutting tariff spawns public disapproval

Illinois Power is attempting to legalize its Vegetation Management Tariff. The aggressive plan could result in massive tree mutilation, causing degraded community and environmental quality of life. The Illinois Power Customers United to Save Our Trees is launching statewide campaign against the tariff.
Illinois Power has posed a Vegetation Management Tariff to the Illinois Commerce Commission, a plan that would legally entitle the company to remove and trim trees at the company's disposal. The plan includes the removal of potentially tall trees within 30 feet of high voltage power lines, and within 15 feet of any voltage line lower than 34.5 kilowatts. If the tariff is passed during the hearings the first week of June, Illinois Power will reserve the right to prune or cut down trees 40 feet high that are within the "Border Zone", an area encompassing up to 65 feet within a power line. The corporation would not be stopped from pre-empting local control over tree cutting practices, or taking away the home owner's right to manage trees on their own property.

A grassroots organization called the Illinois Power Customers United to Save our Trees has formed to participate in these hearings. The group is also undergoing an education and outreach campaign to strengthen awareness and to mobilize against IP's tree trimming practices statewide. The IP customers united to save our trees are addressing concerns from the public input meetings in the past month, regarding environmental degradation and infringement on community quality of life.

There will be a press conference on Wednesday, February 7th at 9am under a tree on 405 West Pennsylvania in Urbana.

Full story at Urbana-Champaign IMC.




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