Who is responsible for cleaning debris after Dominion trims trees on private property?

Posted at 8:16 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 20:19:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Stratford Hills resident took the website Nextdoor to voice concern over a tree cut down by Dominion Energy contractors. Crews were in the neighborhood over the past couple of days trimming back and cutting down trees that could cause damage to power lines during severe weather.

Photos with the Nextdoor post show a tree had been cut down and shaped into logs. The poster wrote crews cut down the tree, left it in there yard, and knocked over a street sign along the road.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers were curious who is responsible for removing the tree debris after Dominion crews complete their tree trimming work.

In the neighborhood, multiple yards were dotted with log piles following the tree trimming work. One neighbor said he was glad Dominion was being proactive, but another wondered why the tree debris was not hauled away.

The Problem Solvers took that question to Dominion Energy. A spokesperson said the power company can clear trees on private property with the home owners permission; however, they cannot remove the trees because they are technically property of the owner.

"If we were to come in, cut a tree, and take it away with us, we'd be essentially taking their property. That`s just not right," said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy. "What we'll do is we`ll notify a customer ahead of time, we're going to be coming through and doing some trimming. This is going to remain on your property for you. We'll cut it really small so that it is easy for it to be hauled away. The customer can hold onto it and make it into firewood or they can sell it, or they can reach out to their locality to ask about the bulk collection process to take it away."

Dominion said customers should contact their city or county government to inquire about bulk debris collection. Most localities in Central Virginia provide some form of bulk collection.

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