CONNECTICUT LAW ON UTILITY VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
For less detailed information than provided below, see:
See Legislation for text and summary of Public Act 14-151, amending 16-234, which is the primary law governing utility tree pruning and removal and PURA regulation of utilities with regard to pruning and removal.
Table of Contents
I. Municipal Tree Warden's Appointment, Powers and Duties (municipal roads only)
B. General Powers
C. Tree Warden Permits
D. Tree Warden Posting of Trees and Shrubs for Removal or Pruning
E. Tree Warden Hearings
F. Tree Warden Regulations
II. Commissioner of Transportation's (DOT) Powers and Duties (state highways only)
A. General Powers regarding Trees and Shrubs in the public right-of-way
B. DOT Permits for Utility Pruning and Removal
III. Legal Standards for Utility Vegetation Management
A. Utility Protection Zone
B. Vegetation Management
C. Performance of Vegetation Management
D. Hazardous Tree
IV. Notice Requirements Prior to Utility Pruning and Removal
V. Property Owner Objection, Request for Modification, Request for Information and Request for Consultation
VI. PURA Mediation and Hearing Process (within public right-of-way)
VII. Vegetation Management by Utilities on Private Land (outside of public right-of-way)
VIII. DEEP and PURA Review of Utility Vegetation Management Practices
PURA Final Decision, 14-07-18: Report to General Assembly on Utility Vegetation Management Practices, June 17, 2015
PURA required the utilities to bring their notices to property owners into compliance with explicit statutory requirements now. However, the decision allows the utilities to ask tree wardens for permits to prune or remove trees according to rigid line clearance standards, such as ETT, without evaluating and specifying which trees need to be pruned or removed (often referred to as a "blanket permit"). PURA recognized the authority of tree wardens to require evaluation and justification of pruning and removal by the utilities prior to issuing permits and to otherwise regulate such work, but, if a tree warden does not exercise his/her authority, it falls to property owners alone to object or request a modification. If some property owners in a community do not understand the loss of benefits, including reduced property values, that unnecessary removal of mature trees can cause, all property owners will be harmed.
PURA FINAL DECISION 12-01-10
June 25, 2014
See PURA for text of decision and background information.
Brief Highlights of the PURA Final Decision. 12-01-10
The Final Decision in Docket No. 12-01-10, Tree Trimming, issued June 25, 2014, made significant improvements in its original draft decision of November 19, 2013 and reflected
the changes in the law made by Public Act 14-151. PURA and the utilities must, of course, comply with all relevant state statutes.
In brief, the Final Decision:
Page updated July 7, 2014