Vegetation Management

Transmission Right-of-Way Vegetation Management Program

NYPA has a systemwide Long-Range Transmission Right-of-Way (ROW) Vegetation Management Plan and Program to ensure the physical integrity of its transmission lines and support structures through a program of regular preventive maintenance. It is designed to support the safe and reliable transmission of electric power in an economically, environmentally and sustainable sound manner. The process of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) is employed to ensure that tall growing trees and woody shrubs do not interfere with these critically important electric power transmission facilities.

IVM balances the use of cultural, biological, physical and chemical procedures for controlling undesirable species while at the same time promoting desirable low growing plant species such as shrubs, herbs, grasses, forbs and ferns, which enhance wildlife and pollinator habitat.

NYPA is recognized as a "Right-of-Way Steward Utility" through the accreditation program of the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council. More information can be found on the ROW Stewardship Council website.

Vegetation on NYPA’s Rights of Way is controlled by a variety of methods. Research has shown that the lowest cost, long-term control is accomplished through the judicious use of herbicides, either alone or in a combination of mixtures.  The objective is the creation of a stable right-of-way plant community which minimizes the need for future maintenance.

Herbicides are used either alone or in combination. All herbicide application methods are used in accordance with label instructions

NYPA works to be a good neighbor in the communities surrounding its facilities and transmission lines, and that means being engaged in environmental protection and restoration. Our planning and projects reflect that commitment, and we regularly engage in habitat and wildlife planning and restoration.

In addition to the work in and near our facilities, the NYPA vegetation management program maintains approximately 16,000 acres of right-of-way (ROW) along the paths of our power lines. The program's principal goal is to provide safe and reliable transmission of electric power in an economically and environmentally compatible manner.
The vegetation management strategy that has been adopted by NYPA is known as integrated vegetation management (IVM). IVM recognizes the full range of financial and societal impacts of ROW management. This approach “emphasizes the highly selective use of herbicides to completely remove all tall growing target species of vegetation from the ROW environs, while simultaneously preserving all other low growing desirable vegetation.” NYPA’s practices were audited by the ROW Steward Accreditation Program in 2013.  According to the audit report, “the Audit Team determined that NYPA passed all criteria and that, in many ways, NYPA’s ROW are a model of sustainable IVM. The overall audit score is 4.4 out of 5.0, indicating performance above industry norms.” The Audit Team recommended that the ROW Steward Council recognize NYPA as an accredited ROW Steward.

The ROW Steward Accreditation Program grew out of the utility vegetation management industry’s commitment to the sustainable practice of IVM, building on a decade of research and development work by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The ROW Steward Accreditation Program was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders (electric utilities, industry trade groups, environmental nongovernmental organizations, government representatives, the public, industry suppliers, contractors and consultants). Its purpose is to recognize excellence in the application and practice of IVM on the North American electric power grid.

Environmental Stewardship in Action...

NYPA's Lewis Payne: Managing Thriving Ecosystems

Environmental Stewardship & ROWs

Environmental Stewardship in Action... Watch "The Stewards" and take a journey through biodiverse, pollinator-rich, stable, plant communities as seen through the eyes of the stewards that manage these thriving ecosystems on ROWs

NYPA's Transmission System...

And the Evolution of the Vegetation Management Plan & Program

Managing Thriving Ecosystems

NYPA's Transmission System... Get a more in-depth view of NYPA's Transmission System. More videos featuring NYPA's Lewis Payne are available on the Utility Arborist Association website.

What it takes: Maintaining Low Growing Vegetation