There will be a public forum on Sunday, May 20th at 3 Pm at the Hastings train station , near the Con Ed substation, so that citizens can be heard on the issue of Con Ed tree clearing. As a result of the recent power outages, Con Ed has embarked on a program of tree cutting and removal affecting all trees growing within the following parameters: 10 feet along the sides or underneath any distribution power lines; 15 feet from the top of said power lines. In unincorporated Greenburgh the work has already begun (Sprain Road, near Heatherdell). In the villages the tree clearing is going to start soon.
Con Ed has the authority of NYS to override any municipal veto in this matter and can apparently cut down trees in whole or in part without permission. They claim they are doing this to lessen the possibilities of future power outages.
Trees are esthetic and impact our quality of life. Removing/destroying trees can result in more flooding. Each tree drinks up hundreds of gallons of water daily.
Although Con Ed has hired arborists we are urging Con Ed to provide localities with the ability to retain the services of an independent arborist (that Con Ed would pay for) to ensure that only trees that should be cut are cut. We want to make sure that the health of the trees being trimmed is protected and believe that flooding dangers should be considered during the process.
Con Ed should be proactive when it comes to taking steps to reduce power outages. They should cut down trees that are dead or dying or pose a possibility of creating power outgages. They should protect those trees that are not in danger of causing harm to the community. That's why an independent arborist is so important --let's make sure that Con Ed is not cutting trees unnecessarily.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor