You have heard this before, and I am afraid you are going to hear it again. SCE&G is exceeding its mandate to protect its power lines and is overreaching its trimming responsibilities. The utility has done this many times before; there need to be consequences this time.
In theory, workers are to trim branches within a few feet of the power lines. They not only trim those, they are also trimming around the CATV lines which are considerably lower, and then start to flatten understory trees like dogwoods. This is just ugly.
None of the trees on the utility's approved list to plant next to the power lines will stand up to this treatment.
I would also argue that the utility has a responsibility to make sure that workers do not structurally imbalance the tree or create other hazards for the public.
In the past, we have fought over these issues and gotten some revisions to their treatments. SCE&G then keeps hiring subcontractors who enable them to claim that they have no direct responsibility for what happens.
This is not the way for a company, which operates in a semi-public manner, to do business.
SCE&G officials apparently need to be reminded that they are granted a monopoly on electrical service in return for some considerations beyond what may be convenient for them. This is showing a consistent pattern of improper behavior.
In our neighborhood, we have petitioned and been accepted to have underground utilities.
This would settle once and for all the problem. This project has been in the works for over a decade, but we have been prioritized beneath other subdivisions both downtown and West Ashley.
How much longer will we have to put up with this?
And it can and will happen in your neighborhoods, folks.
As we have invested heavily in newly developed areas within the City of Charleston in parks, planting and underground utility services, I have to ask - where is the fairness?
James L. Ward
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