Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative

One of the areas we are continually trying to improve is the way we control vegetation that grows under the power lines. The tools we use to manage our Rights-of- Way have been improving since the day we started doing business. They have progressed from axes and brush hooks to chainsaws and grinder machines. Over the last five years, we have been using herbicides as an additional tool to help control the vegetation that can stop the flow of power to your house or business. Anytime we have made an improvement in the tools we use, questions naturally arise which need to be answered. Herbicides are no different. In the following, we will attempt to address some of the questions.

What herbicides are being used?

The primary herbicides we are using are Escort, Krenite, Garlon and Arsenal. Most farmers, landowners and homeowners use these same herbicides, under different names. Primarily we will be using Garlon 3A and Krenite to help preserve understory grasses and forbes that are native to the area. We do not want to "Kill the World"!

Are these herbicides safe to use around people?

These herbicides have been tested for over ten years and are EPA-approved. The toxicity level of these herbi-cides is actually less than table salt, aspirin, caffeine and most of the cleaning products found under your kitchen sink. They have been found to be non-carcinogenic.

How do herbicides help?

We are using the herbicides to control woody stem brush and trees that grow up into the power lines. In the longer term, this will decrease the need to mow or cut as often, resulting in lower maintenance costs, which will help to keep the cost of power to you down.

Does the herbicide kill everything that grows on the right-of-way, easement?

No. Our target is tall-growing woody-stem brush and trees that obstruct access for maintenance and can grow into the lines. Unfortunately, much of the area sprayed will turn brown. Please be patient. This is only temporary. It will be green with grass,weeds, vines, and wildflowers next spring.

What about the environment?

These herbicides have been tested and approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to be environmentally safe.

What about the wildlife?

These herbicides are not toxic to fish or wildlife. Studies have shown that herbicides actually create a better wildlife habitat. The use of herbicides on easements for the creation of wildlife habitats is endorsed by organizations such as The National Wild Turkey Federation and Quail Unlimited.

We believe that the use of herbicides in our herbicide control program is an improvement because:

  1. It's safe for wildlife and humans.   
  2. It creates a safer work environment for our employees by removing obstructions that make access difficult.   
  3. It creates a better wildlife habitat.   
  4. It is economically sound. We will be glad to discuss any further concerns that you may have by calling us at 1-877-353-2674 during regular business hours and talking with John Latham.