Pepco is asking Montgomery County for more authority when it comes to trimming trees on private property.
Pepco has long argued that the county's large tree canopy helps cause such long outages. But the company has been running into resistance from some homeowners about trimming trees on private property, Pepco's Charles Washington says.
"Since September, we have documented over 600 cases where we have gone to a home and we've either been told we can't do the work that we think we need to do, that we need to delay our work, or that we need to modify the scope of our work," he says.
Caroline Taylor says she is one of those cases. She lives in the county's agricultural reserve, and calls some of Pepco's work there "tree butchering."
"I asked myself did I trust these crews to come on to my property and cut my trees," shes says. "And the answer was no."
County council members are questioning whether Pepco needs the new authority. Council vice president Roger Berliner doesn't believe trees are the utility's problem, saying Pepco ignored tree-trimming until last year's outages.
"And now all of the sudden it's like OMG, we have to do all the trees, and we have to do them right now!" he says.
In the past year, Pepco has trimmed over 1,800 miles of tree line, according to the company.