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Right-of-way & Easements

Policy Manual of NEC


Each customer shall grant to the Cooperative, at no cost to the Cooperative and in a form acceptable to the Cooperative, all rights-of-way and easements on the customer’s premises and leading to the customer’s premises necessary to extend the Cooperative’s system and provide proper service to that customer and to extend the Cooperative’s system to adjoining properties. By becoming a customer of the Cooperative or otherwise permitting electricity to be delivered to property or a structure on property, the property owner thereby grants to the Cooperative the right to pass over or through the property as necessary to operate, repair and maintain Cooperative facilities.  Failure to grant such easements and rights-of-way or to permit the Cooperative to pass over or through property shall be grounds for the Cooperative to refuse to initiate or continue service.

As a convenience to individuals, the Cooperative may choose to process the easement or right-of-way, provided accurate information is readily available and the customer provides a copy of the property description from the deed or other legal document acceptable to the Cooperative.  The customer, however, shall remain responsible for all costs of obtaining rights-of-way, easements, licenses or permits.

Upon request of the Cooperative, the customer shall be required to provide the Cooperative with a reproducible translucent plat as recorded and approved by the City, County or Municipality having jurisdiction.

The customer or developer shall clear the utility right-of-way, including but not limited to, removal and disposal of trash and obstacles such as bushes and trees.  The Cooperative shall have no obligation to commence construction or continue construction of any line or connect service if the customer or developer fails to timely clear the right-of-way in a manner acceptable to the Cooperative; provided, however, the Cooperative, in its discretion, may clear the rights-of-way for a fee to be negotiated by the Cooperative, if mutually agreed between the Cooperative and the customer or developer.  Once a right-of-way has been cleared and the line therein constructed and accepted by the Cooperative, the right-of-way will be maintained by the Cooperative.

5.10 OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:  The Cooperative shall have the right to enter upon any portion of the customer’s property as it deems necessary to inspect, operate, maintain, construct, change, alter, improve, repair and make additions and subtractions to its facilities as the Cooperative may from time to time deem advisable, including by way of example and not as a limitation, the right to increase or decrease the number of conduits, poles, wires, cables, handholds, manholes, connection boxes, transformers and transformer enclosures. 

5.20 CUSTOMER WORK ON FACILITIES ADJACENT TO OR WITHIN RIGHT-OF-WAY OR EASEMENT:  When the Cooperative discovers that a customer or the customer’s agent is performing work, or has constructed facilities, adjacent to or within an easement or right-of-way of the Cooperative and such work, construction or facility poses a hazard or is in violation of federal, state or local laws, ordinances, statutes, rules or regulations, or significantly interferes with the Cooperative’s access to equipment, the Cooperative shall notify the customer or customer’s agent and shall take whatever actions necessary to eliminate the hazard, obstruction or violation at the customer’s expense.

5.30 PROHIBITED HOUSES, STRUCTURES, TREES AND SHRUBS: The customer shall not construct or otherwise permit any structure, tree or shrub to be placed in or to extend into the Cooperative’s easements or rights-of-way or otherwise be placed in a position where any part of a power line (transmission, primary, secondary, or service) will cross over any part of the structure.  However, the Cooperative may allow existing houses, structures, trees and shrubs to remain located in its easements or rights-of way to remain, provided all the following apply:

The structure, including any appurtenance, and the tree or shrub complies with the NESC and any other applicable national, state or local laws, rules, regulations and codes or  such violation is deemed waivable by the Cooperative.

The Cooperative determines the structure, including any appurtenance, and the tree or shrub does create an unreasonable obstacle to the Cooperative or its property.

The owner signs a waiver form releasing the Cooperative of any liability, warranting no other structure, appurtenance, tree or shrub will be added and agreeing to remove or relocate the structure, tree or shrub if requested by the Cooperative.

No other hazard or violation of the policy of the Cooperative is in existence.

The building or structure does not extend into the right-of-way more than 25% of total right-of- way or be closer than five (5) feet to power line center line, whichever is less.

5.40 TREE AND SHRUBBERY MAINTENANCE: When tree limbs touch or fall on power lines or shrubbery interferes with power lines, they can cause various problems, such as electrical outages, line losses, property damage, personal injury and fires.  Outages can also affect traffic light controls, residents on life-support systems, and other vital public facilities.  Tree limbs that strike wires are a major cause of power outages, especially during the summer monsoon and winter seasons.  A strong policy requiring the regular maintenance of trees and shrubs is necessary to help eliminate safety hazards and to ensure system reliability.

5.41 TEN FOOT CIRCLE OF SAFETY: It is the Cooperative’s policy to require ten (10) feet of clearance around all of its power lines.  Arizona utilities, including the Cooperative, are required by law to prohibit anyone from pruning trees and shrubs within ten (10) feet of high voltage power lines other than a qualified line clearance tree trimmer.  Pruning trees and shrubs near any power line can be very dangerous and should be left to specially qualified line clearance tree trimmers.

5.42 TREES AND SHRUBS IN COOPERATIVE RIGHTS-OF- WAY:  The Cooperative prohibits the planting of trees and shrubs within its rights-of-way and easements.  It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure trees and shrubs on the customer’s premises do not encroach upon the Cooperative’s rights-of-way or easements or create a hazard or obstruction to the public or the Cooperative’s system.  It is the Cooperative’s policy to remove trees and shrubs within its rights-of–way and easements and to trim or prune trees and shrubs extending into it its rights-of–way and easements on a regular cycle.  The customer may be charged a Service Call fee for this service.

5.43 NOTICE AND PROCEDURE: The Cooperative shall have complete discretion in which trees and shrubs to remove and the manner in which it trims or prunes the tree and shrub located within or extending into its rights-of-way, easements or the ten (10) foot circle of safety.  The Cooperative shall not be liable for any damages to the trees or shrubs resulting from removal, trimming or pruning.

Only Cooperative personnel or a professional contractor that certifies in writing that he is qualified to work around energized power lines may perform removal, trimming and pruning activity within the Cooperative’s rights-of-way and easements.  No removal, trimming or pruning activity shall be undertaken in the Cooperative’s rights-of-way or easements or near high voltage power lines without prior notice to the Cooperative and such activity shall be in strict compliance with all requirements of safety laws.

Except where an immediate hazard is present or the tree or shrub has caused or appears to be likely to cause an immediate outage,

A.The Cooperative shall (i) make a reasonable effort to provide the customer with forty-eight (48) hours’ notice that it will be conducting removal, trimming and pruning activities in the customer’s area and (ii) attempt to provide the customer with prior notice if the Cooperative intends to remove any mature trees on the customer’s premises.

B.If the customer requests time to have the pruning, trimming or removal performed by someone other than the Cooperative, the Cooperative will provide the customer a reasonable time to accomplish the removal, trimming or pruning; provided, however, the customer must have the work completed prior to the Cooperative completing its trimming and pruning in the general vicinity.  The Cooperative reserves the right to refuse to allow any person to work near its power lines.  The Cooperative also reserves the right to remove, trim, or prune any tree or shrub that has not been removed, trimmed, or pruned in accordance with the standards of the Cooperative.

5.44 MAINTENANCE AROUND SERVICE LINES:  The customer is solely responsible for maintaining trees and shrubbery near service lines on the customer’s property leading from the Cooperative’s power pole to the customer’s home or business.  If the Cooperative determines that the tree or shrubbery in question is an ongoing hazard, or does not comply with safety laws, the tree or shrubbery must be immediately removed, trimmed or pruned as deemed necessary by the Cooperative to remove the hazard.  If the customer fails to remove, trim or prune the tree or shrubbery after notice by the Cooperative, the Cooperative may remove, or at the Cooperative’s discretion, trim or prune the tree or shrub at the customer’s expense. The Cooperative strongly recommends that customers hire a professional line clearance tree trimmer and be assured in writing that the tree trimmer is qualified to work around energized power lines in fulfilling this responsibility.

If you need more information, please call NEC at 928-368-5118 ext. 330.

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