Some Blue Ridge Energy members may have received a call recently alerting them to herbicide spraying below power lines in their area.

Renee Whitener, Director of Public Relations, said Blue Ridge Energy makes regular calls to give members advance notice before workers go on their property to treat rights of way below power lines.

The right of way maintenance program for 8,000 miles of power lines is conducted in sections at a time, over an 8-year cycle, to help ensure vegetation is maintained and doesn’t interfere with power lines.

The spraying also helps ensure safe working conditions for line technicians if an outage does occur so that they can access a damaged location quickly and safely.

The Blue Ridge Energy website indicates the chemicals used leave no soil residue, meaning it doesn’t hinder the soil nor stay active in the soil, and only affects the plant it is applied to by entering through the leaves.

The chemicals have a lower toxicity than most household cleaners and are approved for use up to any water’s edge, although the cooperative does leave a buffer zone.