Residents wondering whether NSTAR's tree work will be done in their backyards can check out this PDF map posted Wednesday on the town website, needhammma.gov.
The map, reposted at right in the image gallery, shows the miles of easements NSTAR operates in Needham along its transmission lines. The transmission system largely follows the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks, which are marked on the map with red lines. Needham residences that abut the NSTAR right-of-way are marked in purple. The NSTAR transmission line is show in green.
Also in the image gallery and on the town website, residents can view a PDF of the presentation given by NSTAR representatives at the meeting on Tuesday, July 10.
Individuals can sign up to be notified by e-mail when new information about the NSTAR vegetation management plan is added to the town website.
In an update posted July 11 on the site, Needham Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick summarizes Tuesday's meeting:
At its meeting on July 10, 2012 the Needham Board of Selectmen asked representatives from NSTAR to explain the rationale for proposed vegetation management efforts in the Utility’s right of way (ROW) in Town. The purpose of the vegetation management plan, they said, is to provide for the safe and reliable transmission of electricity by removing potential hazards. NSTAR Senior Arborist Bill Hayes outlined the Utility’s plans – which include removing all vegetation with a mature height of greater than three feet in the wire zone and vegetation with a mature height of greater than 15 feet in the border area.
Mr. Hayes said that NSTAR contractors are scheduled to perform this work along the ROW in Needham in the next month or so. The electric utility transmission ROW in Needham runs from the Dover line to the West Roxbury line, generally mirroring the railroad ROW.
Representative Denise Garlick, Senator Richard Ross, and all members of the Board of Selectmen expressed concern over the plan, and asked that the vegetation management program be delayed until further information and additional communication efforts can be arranged. They urged NSTAR to consider a phased approach.
Residents living near the electric transmission ROW expressed concerns over the quality of life in their neighborhoods if a significant number of mature trees are removed all at once.
Barry Salvucci, Community Relations and Economic Development Specialist with NSTAR, noted that he was not authorized to promise any delay to the proposed work but agreed to bring the concerns expressed by residents and elected officials to the appropriate parties at NSTAR. Further information will be posted as soon as it is available.
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