Why Preserving the Environment When Working With Transmission Lines is Key

The side view of one man using a digital tablet while out working in the field

Safety is one of the most important considerations for electrical contractors, but line contractors are now also focusing on preserving the soil, ecosystems, and the environment in general, whether they are working on private or public land.

Generally, the lands that require protection when servicing or building transmission lines are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). For Utah, their primary focus is on:

  • State and national forests
  • Grasslands
  • National parks
  • Animal reservations
  • Natural reservations and
  • Wetlands

The U.S Forest Service also plays a major role in the mitigation of impacts that transmission and utility line construction have on the environment. So, what are some of the considerations that electrical contractor companies, in general, need to keep in mind when constructing transmission lines or when they’re doing electrical service and repair?

Preserving Nature – Things Electrical Contractors Need to Prioritize

Mitigating The Risk of Wildfires

When working within forests, grasslands, or reserves, it is recommended that fire-resistant transmission lines be used. The system should also be extensive enough to handle the high energy demand during summers and wildfire seasons so that the lines don’t get too hot.

In addition, crews should work in cooler hours when possible to reduce the risk of fire or becoming a problem for the wildlife. Once the work is complete, crews must stay at the remote site for several hours to ensure that there is no risk of fire from the active transmission line.

Protecting Plant & Animal Life; Especially Endangered Species

This includes using equipment that isn’t as loud, doesn’t create sparks, or otherwise renders the soil (and trees) around useless for wildlife. The interruption should only be limited to the time that the crew is present.

Once the electrical installation, service, or repair is complete, the crew must make sure they restore the environment to its original state. This includes limiting the overall exposure to light, sparks, heat, or other elements generated by the lines. The crews must also ensure that they cut down or trim the least number of trees as possible.

Other Considerations

Apart from the two major considerations above, electrical contractors also need to keep the following in mind when installing or servicing transmission lines:

  1. Eliminating the risk to public and animal safety by insulating the lines and poles
  2. Excavated land must be restored
  3. When inspecting or performing maintenance work, the staff must ensure that the disturbance is kept to a minimum
  4. Contamination of soil – accidental or on purpose – should be avoided at all costs. This rule is particularly important when working around water bodies
  5. If any artifacts are found, the burial sites or sensitive areas should not be disturbed
  6. Tribal living spaces should be avoided
  7. Environmental agencies should review all the work needed for said project and the records must be made public
  8. Work should not begin until a permit is given.

Electrical contractors should always keep in mind that only trained workers should be allowed to work in such remote areas. Otherwise, it could risk liability for the contractors and the contracting company. To make sure this doesn’t happen and that your work is environment-friendly, call Skyline Electric today.