Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has been named by the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council (ROWSC) as an accredited Right-of-Way Steward Utility for sustainable integrated vegetation management (IVM) of their electric transmission rights-of-way. The accreditation recognizes SMUD for committing to the Council’s stringent standards of excellence for the environmental management of the areas beneath their electric transmission power lines. In doing so, SMUD and its vegetation management program adhere to the SMUD Board of Directors’ vision statement and core values, including environmental leadership.
The ROWSC program provides standards of excellence for environmental stewardship and presents the opportunity for utility companies to demonstrate their commitment to such standards. ROWSC, based in Minneapolis, MN establishes rigorous management standards based on a set of predetermined principles, requires a formal application process, and enlists third-party auditors to ensure compliance with standards. The ROWSC Accreditation Standards for Assessing Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) Excellence establish the technical requirements for applicants seeking ROW Steward accreditation. The standards are applied in an independent audit of an applicant’s integrated vegetation management program to aid in identifying excellence.
SMUD’s vegetation management team performs vegetation inspection and planning, and oversees the maintenance of more than 200,000 trees in its 900-square-mile service area. The team also maintains the easements and rights-of-way in or adjacent to SMUD’s generation, distribution and transmission infrastructure. Throughout the year, more than 500 miles of transmission right-of-way corridors are successfully managed to ensure reliable, safe delivery of electrical energy throughout SMUD’s system. This involves a regular schedule to clear vegetation away from power lines, poles, transformers, substations, and other various SMUD facilities to reduce the chance of power outages.
“Right-of-way steward utilities have adopted leading practices in right-of-way management systems, benefiting society and the environment by promoting sustainable resource management principles,” states Dr. Jeff Howe of Dovetail Partners, program administrator for ROWSC. “Earning this accreditation involves the collective action and cooperation of a utility, its employees and residents. We congratulate everyone at SMUD for this extraordinary achievement.”