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Managing with Herbicides

Years of experience and study show that the most efficient and effective way to keep electric rights-of-way clear of trees and brush is through the careful use of herbicides. East Central Energy uses a selective herbicide program that assures safe and easy access for our service and maintenance needs while preserving natural surroundings - including wildlife habitat - for all to enjoy.

With less competition for moisture, sunlight and nutrients, a meadow-like setting filled with beneficial grasses and wildflowers thrives. Studies show this actually enhances wildlife habitat by promoting grasses, low growing shrubs and other ground cover preferred by birds, deer and other small animals.

The herbicides East Central Energy uses work on enzymes found only within plants, not people or animals. These compounds enter through leaves and stems to control the plant from the inside. What’s more, the products we use have undergone years of testing. The EPA approves such products for use only after determining they will not adversely affect people, animals or the environment when properly applied. Copies of herbicide labels are available at

In using herbicides, ECE is utilizing a “best management practice” accepted and promoted by the electric utility industry to provide cost-effective right-of-way vegetation management. Vegetation management with herbicides is half the cost of any other method and decreases over time. Other methods of maintenance increase in cost over time. Many of our neighboring electric cooperatives, private utilities and counties also rely on this important vegetation management tool.

Considering the impact of alternative methods of brush control, such as mechanical mowing, herbicide applications result in less damage to the environment and to wildlife populations. The destruction of nesting sites and beneficial vegetation, erosion of soil, and negative visual impact are serious concerns to right-of-way management.

East Central Energy requires crews that apply herbicides to follow strict usage guidelines. Workers who apply herbicides must be certified and hold a pesticide application license from the state in which work is being performed. They must also conform to all state and federal laws.


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