Somerset County Freeholders DRAFT - Resolution
-- DRAFT --

      WHEREAS, the New Jersey BPU has proposed revisions in the provisions of N.J.A.C. 14:5 which address vegetation management in Electric Distribution Company (EDC) Rights of Way; and

      WHEREAS, these revisions to N.J.A.C. 14:5 were published in the NJ Public Register on September 4, 2007 under BPU Docket No. EX070705111; and

      WHEREAS, the vegetation management rules and regulations found in N.J.A.C. 14:5-8, as proposed, would permit EDCs to clear cut vegetation in the Rights of Way; and       WHEREAS,many EDCs have clear cut vegetation in its Rights of Way; and

      WHEREAS, such clear cutting can have significant environmental and community character impacts, particularly for established neighborhoods, scenic corridors and high integrity forest subwatersheds, as well effect on the quality of life of neighborhoods and the ecological intergrity of natural systems that are located near the EDCs Rights of Way; and

      WHEREAS, maintenance of existing vegetation in the "Border Zone", a term as defined in the proposed rules and regulations, by means of selective pruning and vegetative management techniques other than clear cutting will permit safe and reliable transmission of electric service to customers without the adverse impacts of clear cutting as set forth above; and

      WHEREAS, the County of Somerset supports revisions of the proposed rules that will balance transmission reliability, protect the quality of life of surrounding property owners and promote good land stewardship.

      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, that it rejects the concept of clear cutting and the destruction and degradation of vegetation in EDC transmission line Rights of Way in favor of a vegetation management approach which permits trees and other vegetation to grow within the "Border Zones" of Rights of Ways.

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County of Somerset strongly urges for all vegetation management activities that EDCs provide enhanced notification requirements to municipalities and a filing of a yearly schedule of said work; and that the respective forest managers for EDCs work with local environmental commissions on a corridor-wide basis to achieve the best management practices and mitigation and / or restoration as possible; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County of Somerset also urges that the New Jersey BPU rules governing vegetation management in EDC's Rights of Way be further modified to ensure that advance notices are given to individual property owners prior to any cutting and the New Jersey BPU monitors and enforces such a requirement;and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Governor of the State of New Jersey, Somerset County Legislative Delegation, the New Jersey League of Municipalities and all municipalities in Somerset County.

I, Barbara A. Lucas, Clerk of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Somerset in the State of New Jersey, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of a Resolution adopted by said Board of Chosen Freeholders at its regularly convened meeting of _________________________, 2008.

        Barbara A. Lucas, Clerk of the Board