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Managing with Herbicides

Overgrown vegetation near transmission or distribution power lines and equipment can pose safety hazards and lead to power outages. To minimize power interruptions resulting from overgrowth, Duke Energy Progress uses an environmentally responsible vegetation management program to control the natural plant growth within power line rights of way. A critical part of this program is herbicide application.

Herbicide use is a standard practice used by electric utilities and others, including agricultural and landscape management companies, state departments of transportation, railroads, forest services, the military, municipalities, golf courses, airports, schools and universities, and property owners.

Environmentally safe techniques manage tree growth and encourage appropriate vegetation to flourish.

Duke Energy Progress uses federally and state-registered land and aquatic herbicides in accordance with product labels to control re-growth of woody vegetation and brush in transmission and distribution rights of way that have been recently mowed or hand-cut. We have easements that allow us to manage vegetation along and within our rights of way. All herbicide use is conducted in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.

Our chemical herbicide applications:

  • Prevent sprouts from growing quickly and requiring repetitive mowing
  • Result in the growth of favorable low-growing, non-woody plants, such as grasses and other native species
  • Create new plant communities that don't interfere with power lines and provide natural habitats that benefit many kinds of wildlife
  • Use herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requires rigorous toxicological, environmental and chemical testing before the herbicides are registered for use
  • Use herbicides with the same chemical ingredients as products – such as Roundup™ – that our customers can purchase in stores for controlling weeds in gardens, yards and for agricultural practices
  • Are performed under the supervision of a licensed applicator.

When herbicides are used, the program consists of:

  • Low-volume foliar application from May through October
  • Dormant-stem application from October through April
  • Cut-stump/vine application throughout the year.

We have found that many of our customers are pleased with this herbicide program. However, we can provide other options for organic farmers and others with concerns. To discuss these options, or for other questions about the program, contact Duke Energy Progress at 800-452-2777.

Duke Energy Progress uses the following products for vegetation control on power line rights of way.