HCS/SB 958 - This act authorizes any rural electric cooperative and certain electrical corporations that operate on the not-for-profit cooperative business plan to trim trees and control vegetation within the legal description in a recorded easement, or when no easement exists, within the following areas: 1) within 10 feet of electric lines located in a city and potentially energized at or below 34.5 kilovolts; 2) within 30 feet of electric lines located outside of a city and potentially energized at or below 34.5 kilovolts; 3) within 50 feet of electric lines potentially energized between 34.5 and 100 kilovolts; and 4) within 75 feet or within a federally required clearance for electric lines potentially energized at 100 kilovolts or more. In claims for property damage, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the electric utility acted with reasonable care and within its rights when controlling vegetation in these areas.
Electric cooperatives may control vegetation in excess of these areas if needed to maintain safe and reliable electric service. If an electric cooperative must remove certain trees outside of the authorized areas, it must notify the owner of the trees at least fourteen days prior to their removal, except in emergency situations.
Owners of trees that die within three months of being trimmed by an electric cooperative may request the cooperative to remove any such tree, and the cooperative must respond to any such request within 90 days.
Nothing in the act requires electric cooperatives to fully exercise the authorities granted to it by the act.
This act is similar to SS/SCS/SB 563 (2007) and HCS/HB 811 (2007).