The Legislature could be asked to consider new rules regarding the authority of utility companies to trim trees and bushes on private property if the vegetation could encroach on power lines. In its recommendations stemming from the July 19th and 21st severe storms that led to widespread power outages in eastern Missouri, the staff of the Public Service Commission wants to see Ameren – the state’s largest electric utility – doing a better job of trimming trees. But Ameren and other utilities lack the authority to venture onto private property to take down trees or tree limbs. PSC Chairman would like to see the General Assembly take a look at this issue because the love for trees must be balanced against a potential blackout that might affect a neighborhood or subdivision for days. Davis says lawmakers should consider this matter early in the session, rather than later, so as to give them adequate time to come up with possible solutions to the problem.
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