The regionâ€™s primary electrical provider, Eversource Energy, has filed a plan to deal with vegetation beneath its wires, and once again, it is generating the ire of local communities.
As it has in the past, both as Eversource and as its previous incarnation, NStar, the utility company has proposed using herbicides to curtail the growth of brush below its power lines. But for an area that must work vigilantly to protect its water supply, many on the Cape and Islands would prefer to minimize how many chemicals enter our groundwater, regardless of how supposedly safe they are.
Eversourceâ€™s five-year plan would run through 2022 and contains a mix of physical brush removal and chemical treatment options.
The electric utility has faced strong opposition to its brush removal operations in the past, but has regularly triumphed when it comes to defeating legal challenges to its efforts.
Eversource has a vested interest - as do we all - in the maintenance of its power lines. And anyone who measures his or her life in this region in decades rather than in years must acknowledge that the power supply has become ever more reliable than it was in the past.
At the same time, although Eversource may truly believe that it is exercising control and restraint when it comes to the use of chemicals, the residents of the Cape and Islands are the ones who will live - or not - with the consequences should any of those same chemicals eventually turn out to be matters for concern.