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Pepco Tree Bill Stalled For Now In Montgomery County

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The bill would also make Pepco grind up stumps of trees they cut down.
Matt Bush
The bill would also make Pepco grind up stumps of trees they cut down.

The bill would give the county some authority in which trees Pepco is allowed to cut as part of the utility's plan to improve its service.

The tree cutting has angered many county residents, and those complaints led County Council President Roger Berliner to introduce the bill. The measure would call for a county arborist to determine whether a tree is a threat to power lines in cases where property owners and Pepco disagree.

A committee hearing was scheduled to take place this week, but that has been delayed because of an opinion on the bill from county attorney Marc Hansen, who said the new laws must be applied to anyone who wants to cut trees on county land, not just Pepco. Berliner says that's an easy switch.

"It really doesn't change the bill hardly at all," he says. "How many people do you think come in and trim trees?"

But the changes are enough to stop the bill for now, and could be enough to prevent a vote on it before the council recesses for the summer.

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