TVA backs off controversial tree-cutting policy - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

TVA backs off controversial tree-cutting policy

The TVA said it has dropped a height requirement near its easements. (Source: WAFF file) The TVA said it has dropped a height requirement near its easements. (Source: WAFF file)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The nation's largest public utility is backing off an aggressive tree-cutting policy that led to a lawsuit in federal court.

The Tennessee Valley Authority said in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that it has dropped a policy in its seven-state service area to remove any tree within its power line easements that could grow more than 15 feet high. The motion says the lawsuit is moot since the agency has dropped the rule.

Plaintiffs have challenged the motion, saying they want a definitive ruling on whether federal law requires the utility to draft an environmental-impact statement and whether TVA could reinstate the rule.

TVA has about 15,900 miles of transmission lines and services about 9 million people in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

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