www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/ph-tt-bge-tree-cut-1024-20121018,0,7475210.story

baltimoresun.com

BGE set to trim back vegetation along Cromwell Bridge Road

Three months of work slated along transmission line serving Towson

By Jim Joyner, jjoyner@tribune.com

4:51 PM EDT, October 18, 2012

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Baltimore Gas and Electric Company on Thursday, Oct. 18, announced that it will begin conducting tree and vegetation pruning and review along a 115,000-volt transmission line that follows Cromwell Bridge Road.

The utility said the work, set to begin in late October, is needed to help "ensure the safety and reliability of the ... transmission line." Officials said the line serves some 50,000 customers in the Towson area.

According to Rachael Lighty, a spokeswoman for BGE, the area of Cromwell Bridge to be reviewed runs from the park and ride lot just inside the Baltimore Beltway north to Glen Arm Road/Cub Hill Road.

Work is expected to be complete within three months. Officials said it's required by the Maryland Public Service Commission as part of a mandatory five-year vegetation management schedule.

Lighty said that beginning in 2007, BGE conducted tree and vegetation management in that area to prune and remove trees or tree limbs that pose a threat to the transmission line. Officials said part of that work included creation of a planting plan to encourage vegetation that would not affect electric equipment — namely replacing tall-growing trees with smaller trees and shrubs that don't get as high, but still retain what she called the "scenic byway" aspect of Cromwell Bridge.

As a result of that work, BGE officials said they don't expect the current pruning to greatly affect residents' properties.

"I think this is really just routine work at this point," she said.

Officials said in a press release that BGE has reached out to customers through letters and an open house, and will work with customers regarding any work conducted on their property. Lighty said if residents or groups wish to have a BGE representative out for a meeting, "we're certainly open to that." Residents may contact the customer service line at 1-800-685-0123.

The Public Service Commission has implemented new tree-management standards stemming from the state's 2011 Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act. According to BGE's website, the guidelines "strive to uniformly provide more space between trees and power lines to help ensure electric reliability by limiting the tree's potential to come in contact with the power line."

For more information on BGE's Tree and Vegetation Management Program, go to bge.com/TreeCare.