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Snapping Shoals honored for tree protection

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

COVINGTON -- Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is the first EMC in the state to receive the Tree Line USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation for its leadership in caring for trees while meeting service objectives, according to a press release issued this week.

The Tree Line USA program honors utilities that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America's urban forests, with the goal of promoting safe, reliable electric service and abundant healthy trees in utility service areas.

"We had already been participating in several community tree projects at area schools and senior centers when the Tree Line USA certification opportunity was presented to us," said Victor Hurst, vice president of line services at SSEMC. "We felt that the ideals of Tree Line USA marry well with SSEMC's philosophy of providing value to our members. Trees are a big part of energy conservation, which in turn helps our members save. Tree Line USA also emphasizes safety and proper planting, which is very important to Snapping Shoals. We try to be proactive and put trees in the right place so they won't create hazards or problems in the future."

Snapping Shoals had to meet several criteria to receive the Tree Line USA recognition, including following industry standards for pruning, planting, removals and trenching and tunneling near trees. Snapping Shoals was also required to make sure employees and contract workers are trained in best practices.

Snapping Shoals has participated in community Arbor Day celebrations, as well as sponsoring and participating in several tree planting and public education programs designed to educate the public about tree planting, placement and pruning.

"The community sees us trimming and removing trees, which has to be done to maintain our lines, but we want people to know that we are eco-conscious," Hurst said. "Power companies and our natural resources can co-exit."

Snapping Shoals EMC is a consumer-owned electric corporation providing electric services to approximately 94,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area. Most of the utility's service area is in Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties. The company's headquarters is on Brown Bridge Road in Newton County.