TRANSMISSION VEGETATIVE MAINTENANCE
LOCATION: NEW JERSEY SERVICE TERRITORY
MARKET SECTOR: ENERGY UTILITY
SIZE: 3,256 SQUARE MILES
The project area encompassed 13 counties and 235 municipalities, approximately 3,256 square miles. Within this territory, approximately 14,000 miles of distribution and transmission power line corridors or rights-of-way and numerous substations are maintained in order to provide reliable electric service to approximately one million customers in New Jersey. Pursuant to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) missions to assure “high quality, safe and reliable service” to electric utility customers of the State, the supplier must regularly conduct necessary maintenance activities including right-of-way vegetative maintenance, ROW utility infrastructure maintenance, repair, and replacement activities, and modifications to existing substations.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulates environmentally sensitive areas within the rights-of-way including wetlands (freshwater and coastal), wetland transition areas, flood hazard areas and associated riparian zones, and the Coastal (CAFRA) Zone. Maintenance activities in identified locations of state-listed threatened or endangered flora and fauna are highly regulated and scrutinized. Activities must also not adversely affect federally listed species. In many cases maintenance work must adhere to state and federal threatened and endangered species timing restrictions.
THE PS&S SOLUTION
PS&S prepared a comprehensive application to the NJDEP for a Freshwater Wetlands General Permit No. 1, Coastal General Permit No. 23, Coastal Wetlands Permit, Flood Hazard Area (five year maintenance) Individual Permit, and Water Quality Certificate to conduct the required maintenance activities within these regulated areas. Critical to the success of this project were the negotiated permit conditions and working with NJDEP to develop best management practices to avoid harm to T&E species within regulated areas of the rights-of-way.