Skip to Content

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 95121        FILED ON: 12/21/2010

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 5121

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_______________

 

Substituted by the House, on motion of Mr. Pedone of Worcester, for a Bill relative to cutting down, trimming or removing bushes and small trees (House, No. 5121).  December 21, 2010.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Tho usand and Ten

_______________



 

An Act relative to cutting down, trimming or removing bushes and small trees.


 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Chapter 87 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 14. For the purposes of this section, a utility shall be defined as any distribution company as defined in c hapter 164.

(a) A utility may or at the request of the tree warden shall submit a n annual vegetation management plan describing the maintenance work to be performed in the municipality The plan shall include, at a minimum, a map of the circuits where the maintenance work will be per formed, the tree maintenance standards that will be followed and any foreseeable variance from those standards.   In addition, the plan shall comply with local ordinances and regulations.

The vegetation management plan shall be submitted not less than 90 da ys prior to the date the utility proposes to begin its maintenance work. Upon receipt of the plan, the tree warden or their designee shall have 60 days to notify the utility in writing whether the plan has been approved .

Upon receiving written notification that the plan has been approved, or approved with modifications agreed to by both parties, the utility shall be exempt ed from the requirements of sections 3 and 5 for the work described in the approved plan .

(b) A utility may or at the request of the tree warden shall submit an annual hazard tree removal plan describing hazard tree removal work to be performed in the municipality . The plan shall include, at a minimum, the specific trees that the utility has identified as a hazard and proposes to remove.   In addition, the plan shall comply with local ordinances and regulations.

The hazard tree removal plan shall be submitted not less than 90 days prior to the date the utility proposes to begin tree removal.  Upon receipt of the plan, the t ree w arden or thei r designee shall have 60 days to notify the utility in writing whether the plan has been approved .

Upon receiving written notification that the plan has been approved, or approved with modifications agreed to by both parties, the utility shall be exempt ed from the requirements of sections 3 and 5 for the work described in the approved plan .

(c) If the tree warden fails to notify the utility whether the vegetation management plan or hazard tree removal plan has been approved within 60 days of receipt of the plan, the utility may request a decision by the selectmen , mayor or chief administrative officer of th e municipality.  

(d) Notwithstanding the fact that a vegetation management plan or hazard tree removal plan has been approved, the utility shall notify t he tree warden in writing not less than 14 days prior to beginning maintenance work or tree removal work in a municipality . If a local ordinance or regulation requires more than 14 days notice, the utility shall comply with such ordinance or regulation.  Such notice shall include the date on which the utility will begin work and the phone number of the person or persons supervising the work in the field.

(e) The utility shall provide to the state forester, or any such person or agency as designated by the s ecretary of e nergy and e nvironmental a ffairs, a copy of the annual vegetation management plan or hazard tree removal plan and a copy of the approval or denial letter from each tree warden. The state forester, or any such person or agency as designated by the s ecretary of e nergy and e nvironmental a ffairs, shall provide the utility with a read receipt.

(f) The utility shall , annually, submit a set of utility tree maintenance standards and specifications and evidence that these standards have been adopted by the utility company to the s tate f oresters office. These standards and specifications shall be in conformance with the following : American National Standard Institute A-300, American National Standard Institute Z-133, National Electric Safety Code 218 T ree Trimming and OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910 Line Clearance Tree Trimming Operations, as amended by the issuing authority. The state forester, or any such person or agency as designated by the s ecretary of e nergy and e nvironmental a ffairs, shall make these stand ards and specifications available to the public on their websites or other accessible locations. They shall accept , and maintain a publicly accessible record of , comments received on the standards and specifications and shall transmit them to the utilities.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Error