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news release

RG&E Vegetation Management Improves Reliability
Work in Rochester, Irondequoit, Greece, Brighton, Henrietta, Mendon and Penfield underway

Rochester, NY – RG&E, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, will cut trees and trim brush in seven Rochester-area communities in the next three months to help improve electric service reliability. The company clears one-fifth of its electric distribution lines each year as part of its comprehensive vegetation management program.

“Since tree contact is the leading cause of power outages, this work will directly benefit our customers,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “There’s a strong correlation: the more vegetation we clear, the fewer interruptions occur. That’s why RG&E will invest nearly $7 million on vegetation management along our distribution system this year.”

The RG&E arborist and contractors will be working in Rochester, Irondequoit, Greece, Brighton, Henrietta, Mendon and Penfield during the months of May, June and July. RG&E will mail notices to the affected customers in advance and the contractor will deliver a second notice to the customer’s door shortly before the work begins.

RG&E contracts with qualified tree crews who follow natural pruning methods established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). (During an emergency, these natural pruning methods may not be feasible.) To learn more about our pruning methods visit the RG&E website http://www.rge.com and click on the “Usage and Safety” tab and then on “Electrical Safety.” You can also download our Tree and Vegetation Management information sheet. 
RG&E Tree Debris Removal Policy
• During scheduled maintenance tree work in residential and landscaped areas, we chip and remove smaller (less than six inches) branches. We cut larger branches into manageable lengths and leave them onsite. 
• When customers request that we clear vegetation outside of our scheduled maintenance or in rural, non-landscaped areas, we leave the cut material behind for customer disposal.
• Following a storm, our first priority is to restore service safely, quickly and efficiently. Vegetation cut during storm restoration is left behind for customer disposal or natural decomposition.

Safety First and Always
• Never attempt to move or cut tree branches that are tangled in downed power lines.
• Leave cutting and pruning of trees near power lines to professionals. A tree or limb that contacts a power line can be deadly.
• Remind children not to climb trees near power lines or climb on pad-mounted transformers.
• Avoid planting new trees under power lines.

Slow Down and Save a Life
Drivers should use extreme caution in work zones where RG&E contractors are pruning trees. “These crews help RG&E provide the safe and reliable service our customers depend on, so we encourage drivers to please be cautious and slow down in our work zones,” Lynch said.