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Gas Company Cutting Down Rockville Residents' 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.

Sandy Giger loves trees. But there's one strip of her backyard that is noticeably treeless. That's because Giger's property sits on a gas line. There's a pipeline that runs from Rockville to West Virginia, and the easement is to have a 50-foot wide span where there are no trees over 5 feet.

Giger says tree roots can puncture the gas pipe, with dangerous results.

"The trees are beautiful up until the point there were an explosion," she says.

But neighbor Soumaya Charfi says she was devastated when Columbia Gas Transmission started chopping down trees on the easement within her property.

"It hurts me of course because I will lose my privacy," Charfi says.

Columbia Gas distributed letters to residents saying the trees must come down to allow monitoring and maintenance of the gas line. It will be clearing area easements through June.

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