(June 17, 2020) — Trees and vegetation were responsible for approximately 25 percent of Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative’s power outages last year. The number is higher when you factor in storms, as evidenced in the severe weather that has already struck in 2020.
In efforts to curb storm related outages, MLEC has scheduled vegetation management spraying to begin the week of July 6; it will last 4-6 weeks. Locations include several across Houston, Humphreys and Perry counties, as well as the Pleasantville, Bucksnort and Only areas of Hickman County.
Members who have questions should contact their local MLEC office by July 1. A new policy relative to spraying focuses on special, individual situations where the property owner takes a more personal investment and agrees to manage the right-of-way according to the required distance.
“We understand right-of-way management is a sensitive area, and we strive to keep the lines of communication open,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “MLEC works to find common ground with our members that still delivers a quality standard of safety, affordability, and reliability for the entire membership. The spray opt-out policy is part of that, and it is important that those who are interested contact us by July 1 so that arrangements can be made before spraying starts.”
Sprays utilized by MLEC contractors are registered with the EPA and administered by licensed applicators. Contractors survey the areas to be treated and prescribe an appropriate mix that will promote a subtle transition of the right of way into native grasses and flowering plants. These herbicide application services are vital to affordable accessibility, while also promoting environmental stewardship, habitats, and multi-use of the right of way.
MLEC has contracted with Superior Forestry Services, Inc. and Chempro, trained professionals in this type of vegetation management, to conduct the spraying. MLEC understands that seeing someone unfamiliar on your property or along the road can bring questions. For clarification, the contractors will have magnets on their trucks and cards that identify their link to MLEC.
To learn more about MLEC’s vegetation management program, visit the SAFETY section on mlec.com.