JCP&L, looking to reduce outages, to spend $34M to trim trees in 9 counties

Utility offers list of municipalities it will target in next 2 months

Jersey Central Power & Light announced Thursday that it is investing approximately $34 million in 2023 to trim trees along more than 3,400 miles of power lines across its central and northern New Jersey service area.

This work will help prevent or minimize the impact of tree-related damages during severe weather, as fallen trees and branches contacting lines and electrical equipment remain a leading cause of power outages.

Since Jan. 1, JCP&L contractors have successfully completed trimming along more than 760 miles of lines, with nearly 2,700 miles of additional trimming expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“Tree trimming is a year-round effort by our crews and contractors and just one of the proactive steps we take to minimize the impact of power outages and ensure the safe, reliable delivery of electricity,” President Jim Fakult said. “Doing this work in a responsible way is also a priority, as our stewardship of the environment and our communities is a core value for JCP&L.”

Vegetation near power lines is inspected to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of trees while maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment. All trimming work is conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction and done in compliance with regulatory requirements. Crews are also continuing a multiyear effort to identify and remove deteriorated ash trees that have been affected by the emerald ash borer.

Last year, nearly 40% of tree-related power outages in JCP&L’s service territory were caused by ash trees. Since the initiative to mitigate the dangers posed by these trees began in 2017, nearly 20,000 dead or diseased trees have been removed.

JCP&L will trim trees in the following counties and municipalities over the next two months:

  • Burlington: Fort Dix;
  • Essex: Short Hills (Millburn);
  • Hunterdon: Alexandria, Bethlehem, Bloomsbury, Califon, Delaware, East Amwell, Flemington, Holland, Lebanon, Milford, Raritan, Tewksbury, Union and West Amwell;
  • Mercer: Hightstown, Hopewell and West Windsor;
  • Middlesex: Cranbury, East Brunswick, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Monroe, Old Bridge and Spotswood;
  • Monmouth: Aberdeen, Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold, Freehold Borough, Holmdel, Howell, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro, Middletown, Millstone, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Upper Freehold and Wall;
  • Morris: Chatham, Chester, Chester Borough, Denville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Mount Tabor (Parsippany-Troy Hills), Mount Olive, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Randolph, Roxbury and Washington;
  • Ocean: Bayville (Berkeley), Forked River (Lacey), Jackson, Lanoka Harbor (Lacey), Manchester, Plumsted, South Toms River and Toms River;
  • Somerset: Bedminster and Warren.