Attached is an overview from a citizen who did a lot of research on the issue but wants to remain anonymous.

The Federal guidelines are quite general. For example, if you read through Standard FAC-003-1 - Transmission Vegetation Management Program (from the NERC website ftp://www.nerc.com/pub/sys/all_updl/standards/rs/FAC-003-0.pdf) you will see that there is no 15' regulation (correctly so). The Federal government just wants the States (a.k.a the "Transmission Owner") to have a plan to deal with vegetation and maintain the transmission grid. The 15' rule is a NJ regulation. Trust me, I have spoken with the utility boards at several states and they all have different rules. Most states are more relaxed in their standards. But some, notably NY, are even stricter (at least by the regulation, perhaps not in practice).

I know that you are all upset about this and you should be. Look at the second attachment (my yard ~ 200' from my house) - that should provide motivation to keep true to your cause.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The only way you will make change is to keep everyone engaged and make sure EVERYONE shows up at the public hearings or any meetings with the BPU. I cannot emphasize this point enough.

Case in point: I met with the BPU last Spring (after the vegetation clearing) and they were actually quite interested and accommodating. They reviewed my proposal and scheduled a meeting where I spoke for nearly an hour. Unfortunately only one other person from my neighborhood attended and nobody from the Township attended. There were, however, at least 20 representatives from the utility companies and at least 10 people from the BPU. So if you were in charge of writing the regulations, who would you listen to:
A) the 20 seasoned utility representatives?
B) The 10 government regulators?
C) The 2 lonely taxpayers/landowners? You have to have a show of support to implement change.

2. Read all the regulations. Don't go by word of mouth or you lend credibility to false rumors or "potential regulations" (like the 15' rule...). Check out the NERC website ((www.nerc.com) Check out the websites in other states (Oregon and Texas have a lot of useful information).

3. Understand that there are different priorities for all the parties:

A) Everyone wants reliable energy at a reasonable price
B) BPU wants to comply with the federal rules and provide specific guidelines to the utility companies
C) The utilities want to comply with the regulations in the most cost-effective way (i.e. clear-cutting is easier than picking and choosing problem vegetation).
D) Homeowners want the utilities to clear only what is necessary and respect their property (i.e. picking and choosing problem vegetation instead of clear-cutting).
E) Other homeowners don't care about your problems. They do not want the cost of their electricity to go up because the utility companies are spending too much on vegetation management (on your land). And the utility companies know this.

4. Finally:
A) Ask your township to call other neighboring communities and get their support as well.
B) Speak to other states - many were very willing to share their perspectives. Ask for the person(s) writing the regulations or at least the general counsel. NY, MA, RI, CT, OR were very good. PA was not. (Note: I chose Oregon because they have very strong lumber and agricultural industries and lobbies.)
C) Be specific - write your comments directly in the regulation (see april draft of revised rules - my comments start in the Vegetation Management section on page 22) and share with the BPU.