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Penelec's 2018 Tree Trimming Program Underway

Work Includes 4,000 Miles of Lines and Will Help Enhance Reliability

READING, Pa., May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its Pennsylvania service areas as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance customer reliability. 

Penelec Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

The work helps to maintain proper clearances around electrical equipment, which can reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as the numerous storms experienced this past winter.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed nearly 800 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Penelec area as part of the company's $37 million vegetation management program for 2018, with an additional 3,200 miles expected to be completed by year end.

The tree trimming work in 2018 includes about $5 million to continue a special five-year program that was implemented in 2015 to remove dead and dying ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer before they can cause damage to Penelec's electrical system.  The company expects to proactively remove approximately 45,000 affected ash trees by the end of the year.  Over five years, the ash tree removal program will cover about 18,000 miles of power line rights-of-way in the Penelec service area, with the expected removal of more than 200,000 affected ash trees.

"Penelec is committed to enhancing customer service reliability and our vegetation management program is one of the most important things we do every year to help maintain our electric system," said Scott Wyman, regional president, Penelec.  "This work pays dividends year-round in fewer service disruptions, particularly during severe storms that cause tremendous damage to trees, which then can damage our equipment."

The vegetation management work is conducted by qualified contractors, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, PennLine Service, Hazlett Tree Service, Townsend Tree Service, Lewis Tree Service, and Treesmiths.

As part of its notification process, Penelec works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules.  In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done. 

During the next several months, Penelec will be conducting tree trimming along transmission and distribution circuits in the following locations:  Altoona, Athens,  Bedford, Blain, Brookville, Canton, Clearfield, Dubois, Ebensburg, Eldred, Erie, Farmers Valley, Franklin, Harborcreek, Hollidaysburg, Honey Grove, Johnstown, Knox, Laurel Lake,  Lenox, Lewistown, Mansfield, Meadville,  Meyersdale, Northeast, Oil City,  Philipsburg,  Reedsville, Saegertown, Salix, Tidioute, Tionesta, Tunkhannock, Union City, Waterford, and Warren.

The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities.  Trees that present a danger or are diseased also may be removed. 

Penelec serves approximately 600,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.  Follow Penelec on Twitter @Penelec and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PenelecElectric.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.

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