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HRM and NSPI Reach Vegetation Management Agreement

(HALIFAX, Friday, August 19, 2005)-- Through a joint mediation process, Halifax Regional Municipality and Nova Scotia Power have reached an agreement regarding the utilities’ vegetation management practices in new subdivisions. That agreement has been filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

Subject to UARB approval of this agreement, HRM and NSPI requested a delay in the UARB hearing on these issues that is scheduled to begin on December 5, 2005. The parties are optimistic the mediated agreement will resolve its concerns, while at the same time providing for NSPI’s objectives to ensure safety and reliability.

“Wherever possible, HRM strongly supports the joint settlement of issues, rather than protracted and expensive public hearings. HRM and NSPI care about safety and reliability, but HRM also has concerns about community character and aesthetics in new developments," Mayor Peter Kelly says. “We recognize the environmental, social, health and aesthetic value trees provide to our community. At the same time, we are committed to manage vegetation conflicts with infrastructure in a way that maximizes our urban canopy, and ensures HRM remains one of the most treed cities in Canada."

Alan Richardson, General Manager of Customer Service for Nova Scotia Power, says "NSPI is pleased with the mediated agreement. It strikes the right balance between trees and power lines. It maintains the treed landscape we all value in our city, and at the same time, reduces the number of power outages.”

Mr. Richardson adds "NSPI and HRM recognize that moving toward underground service in new developments would be the best way to completely resolve tree/utility conflicts. NSPI has committed to assist HRM in moving in this direction."

Key features of the mediated agreement are:

  • NSP and HRM agree on easement widths in new developments of five feet in serviced areas, and 15 feet in unserviced areas on the utility side of the road. Due to several variables, such as width of roads, right of ways, and pole placement, this would effectually give NSPI an operational clearance of 15 - 20 feet around utility infrastructure in new developments.
  • NSPI has agreed to partner and cost-share with HRM the development of standards, practices, and financial models to advance underground service in new developments

Both parties have put in place a process to ensure open communications between the two organizations and enhanced consultation and conflict resolution regarding new developments and vegetation management.

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Cathie O’Toole
Manager of Environmental Performance (Energy and Utilities)
Halifax Regional Municipality

Margaret Murphy
Manager, Public Affairs
Nova Scotia Power
(902) 428-6436




Above content last modified Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 4:36pm.