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A Guide to Best Management Practices for Transmission Tower and Line Construction and Maintenance

D. Allen Hughes, PE

Since transmission lines and towers tend to blend into the environment more than structures such as habitable buildings and paved roads and structures often follow the original terrain, it may be easier to overlook the environmental impact of transmission lines and towers and the access roads required for maintenance. This course introduces engineers, utilities contractors and BMP maintenance contractors with the best management practices for transmission construction and maintenance activities. Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are practices chosen to minimize erosion and prevent or control sedimentation and contributions of other pollutants from land disturbance and land management activities. If properly applied, BMPs will help protect the quality of surface waters and ground water.

Eroded soil, organic debris, heat and chemicals are the principal potential non- point source (NPS) water pollutants from transmission construction and maintenance activities. These NPS pollutants can impose adverse effects on water quality in streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds, lakes, and ground water. Eroded soil is the most prevalent pollutant. Excessive amounts of treetops and slash can cause further damage to streams and wetlands if they are washed in or out by flooding.

The major ground disturbing activities associated with transmission construction and maintenance are right-of-way clearing and re-clearing, construction and maintenance of access roads, and site grading for the construction of transmission line structures, substations and communication facilities.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.