Amendment #38 to H.4198
Transmission Easement Maintenance
Representatives Walsh of Framingham, Andrews of Orange, Linsky of Natick, Peake of Provincetown, Sannicandro of Ashland and Conroy of Wayland move that the bill be amended inserting at the end thereof the following new section:
"SECTION ___ . Chapter 25 of the General Laws is hereby amended after section 4C by inserting the following section:-
Section 4D. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations requiring each electrical distribution company to establish a landscaping plan as it pertains to electrical transmission line vegetation management; provided, that it shall the department shall require the use the use of native species plants, consideration of the local terrain, visual appearance ecosystems impacts. A Registered Massachusetts Landscape Architect shall review and comment each plan for the department prior to department approval. The department shall require at least one public hearing each year on the plan prior to approval, which shall include testimony from Department of Environmental Protection, local municipalities, and environmental organizations.
The department shall require at least one public hearing in a region where an electrical distribution company engages in vegetation management of a transmission line and it the electrical distribution company shall notify municipalities, abutters and residents within 500 feet of a utility easement. In addition, the department shall review the impact of any significant changes of the impacted area least once every four (4) years. The department can require an electrical distribution company to provide sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, environmentally stable ecosystems of native plant species and wild flowers according to local topographic and soil conditions that shall not interfere with transmission systems but will provide the community with wildlife habitat areas, passive recreational opportunities and conditions that will generally support the long term quality of the environment and stable local property values along the electrical transmission line."