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Power company spraying chemicals near power lines concerns Jones County homeowners

Tri-County EMC maintains a 30-foot-wide right of way by mowing, trimming, and spraying herbicides near the power lines to control vegetation.

JONES COUNTY, Ga. — Some folks in Jones County say they have concerns about a power company spraying chemicals on plants near power lines on their property.

Tri-County EMC says they maintain a 30-foot-wide right of way by mowing, trimming, and spraying near the power lines to control vegetation that grows there. 

Jasen McCall has lived in his home in Gray for about six years.

"I love the fact that my wife and I can take walks with our dog down our driveway and just be able to enjoy the nature that it is," McCall said. 

In the last few months though, he says the nature he grew to love has died.

"I noticed that there were several dead spots along our driveway here mainly  underneath the power lines," McCall said. 

Greg Mullis with Tri-County EMC says the company works with another company called NaturChem to spray the herbicides to keep trees, brush, and other growth from interfering with electric service in the county.

"We encourage them to never plant or try to put landscaping under those power lines because of safety and reliability," Mullis said. 

He says trees and plants that grow tall enough make it difficult to restore outages.

McCall says he is worried the dead plants and bushes makes the properties look bad.

He filed a complaint with the Georgia Department of Agriculture when the plants he grew died from the chemicals. He says NaturChem compensated him for those plants. 

McCall says he's concerned the chemicals could potentially run off into a creek when it rains and be harmful to people who don't know the area was sprayed. 

"Use your third prong of chemicals in the areas where you don't have people living, and kids playing, and so forth or wildlife and people's pets and stuff," McCall said.  

Mullis says overgrown trees and plants within 15-feet of overhead power lines are trimmed year-round while the herbicide is sprayed in five-year cycles.

"The chemicals that we use are EPA certified and approved for use as we are using them," Mullis said. 

Mullis says Tri-County EMC posts the spray schedule on their website and social media. The company maintains about 2,800 miles of power line.

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