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Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) Practices around Utility Rights-Of-Way

EPA was formerly a co-signer of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Edison Electric Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service), and U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service), that helped establish sound Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) practices as the standard for utility rights-of-way management.

Integrated Vegetation Management (print version, 2 pp, 1.2MB, About PDF) practices reduce the need for pesticides, promote healthy ecosystems, and provide measurable results, such as greater natural species diversity along rights-of-way and better control of invasive species. Control options for IVM may include biological, chemical, cultural, manual, mechanical techniques, and in some cases, controlled burning. The desired outcome of IVM is the development of lush shrub or grassy areas that do not interfere with overhead power lines, pose a fire hazard, or hamper access.

EPA supported the MOU with the Edison Electric Institute and the other federal agencies because it commits Edison and these agencies to:

  • promote IVM and environmental stewardship as an integral part of managing rights-of-way by electric utilities.
  • establish guidance on good IVM practices.
  • publish IVM practices currently employed by utilities that demonstrate good environmental stewardship in managing rights-of-way.
  • facilitate the use of IVM as the utility rights-of-way industry standard.
  • develop sound working relationships between the utility industry and land management agencies to achieve both electric reliability and ecological goals.

The Edison Electric Institute consists of associated shareholder-owned electric utilities in the U.S., international affiliates and industry associates worldwide. The Institute’s members serve 71 percent of all electric utility customers in the nation.

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