CALIFORNIA - North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa introduced a bill that aims to clear lines in electrical fire risk zones.
The so-called “CLEAR Zones Act,” would allow the departments of the interior and agriculture to remove trees that pose a hazard to nearby power lines.
Below is the full statement from LaMalfa:
“Trees along power lines serve as potential sources of ignition and catastrophic fire in our forests. The longer utility companies must wait for a hazardous tree removal permit approval, the more at-risk power lines become to hazard trees falling upon them This bill builds on our previous effort to expand the safety zone in order to be more effective. The bill reduces lengthy wait times to do effective active forest management and increases the buffer zone near power line rights-of-way, allowing improved fire prevention and better protection of homes, buildings, wildlife and the forest itself."
The new legislation also states that it extends the distance for clearing trees and parts of trees from 10 feet to 50 feet on either side of the powerline.
Current law says that the Secretary must review and approve the management plans “to the maximum extent practicable” in 120 days.
This new bill would cut that period in half. IT requires the Secretary to approve the submitted plans within 60 days in order to quickly manage vegetative overgrowth and trees that pose a hazard to powerlines.
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