Montgomery County Holds Hearing On Tree-Trimming Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Holds Hearing On Tree-Trimming Bill

Play associated audio
A program to trim and cut down trees in Montgomery County was proposed after week-long power outages caused by thunderstorms two summers ago.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/5041815576/
A program to trim and cut down trees in Montgomery County was proposed after week-long power outages caused by thunderstorms two summers ago.

Protestors marched in D.C. Monday morning, rallying against a proposed Pepco rate hike, while across the border in Montgomery County, lawmakers are awaiting a ruling from the state public service commission about a similar rate increase.

County Council President Roger Berliner says Pepco should not be allowed to raise rates to help pay for its service reliability upgrades, which the utility embarked upon after week-long power outages caused by thunderstorms two summers ago.

The outages resulted in an ambitious program to trim and cut down trees the utility says threaten power lines. Berliner says his bill would give the county a role in which trees are cut, but that also means trees on private property could be trimmed, which angers some residents.

"Trees on private property under this legislation could be taken down if Pepco says the tree poses an imminent hazard," says Berliner. However, a county arborist would do the verifications. Berliner's bill would also make Pepco haul off stumps left after trees are cut down.

Pepco's performance earned the utility a $1 million fine from the Maryland Public Service Commission. Berliner says the commission can send an even stronger message to Pepco about the need to improve its service by denying the rate hike request.

"The $1 million fine Pepco received in its imprudence was really a small step the commission took," says Berliner. "The big issue is what portion of these expenditures will the commission find reasonable to pass on to ratepayers."

The commission is expected to rule sometime this summer.

NPR

'Passages' Author Reflects On Her Own Life Journey

Gail Sheehy is famous for her in-depth profiles of influential people, as well as her 1976 book on common adult life crises. Now she turns her eye inward, in her new memoir Daring: My Passages.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.