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Rockville Neighbors Lament Loss Of Trees

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Soumaya Charfi moved to her neighborhood in Rockville because of the trees. Friday, Columbia Gas Transmission had trees cut down as part of gas pipeline maintenance.
Jessica Gould
Soumaya Charfi moved to her neighborhood in Rockville because of the trees. Friday, Columbia Gas Transmission had trees cut down as part of gas pipeline maintenance.

Soumaya Charfi says she and her husband bought their Rockville home because of the large trees that shade it. But in April residents received a notice from Columbia Gas Transmission, stating that the trees would have to come down as part of a pipeline maintenance effort.

Contractors for the company arrived Friday morning. And now, Charfi says, seven trees have been reduced to stumps and piles of wood chips.

"It hurt me, of course, because I will lose my privacy. Because houses will be face-to-face. It's going to affect the price of the house," she says.

But neighbor Sandy Giger, whose house is also above the gas line, says it's important to clear the right of way to prevent roots from invading the gas line and causing an explosion.

"The trees are beautiful up until the point there [is] an explosion and then people would swing the other way," Giger says.

In a note to residents, Columbia Gas Transmission says it's cutting down the trees to ensure safety.

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