New rules for tree-trimming in the Nutmeg State

State Sen Jason Welch, R-Bristol, right, pays tribute to Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, not shown, at the Capitol on the final day of session, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. Both McKinney and Welch are not seeking re-election. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Utility companies will need written consent from Connecticut property owners before cutting trees on the owner’s land, under a bill that’s heading to the governor.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 35-0, in favor of a bill that also requires each utility to operate an email account so it can receive complaints, modification requests, questions and objections about the utility’s vegetation management process. The bill already passed the House of Representatives.

Sen. Bob Duff, the co-chairman of the General Assembly’s energy committee, said the bill also creates a mediation process for utilities, customers and tree wardens in case there is a disagreement about.

Duff said the legislation attempts to “give confidence to ratepayers across the state” that when there is tree-trimming, “it is done in a fair and balanced manner.”

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