You Can Avoid Herbicide Spraying






April 18, 2022                                                                                                                                            Home

Spring is here.  Soon Powell Valley Electric Cooperative (PVEC) will begin spraying the right-of-way for its electric lines.  This allows linemen improved access to replace or repair damaged wires after storms.  The right-of-way must be maintained, but is spraying the only way?

Herbicides are a danger to our environment and can lead to health complications for both humans and wildlife. Herbicides have been linked to destruction of wildlife habitats, depletion of animal and aquatic life, and air, water and soil pollution.  In addition to contaminating the soil where they have been applied, herbicides can flow into streams, rivers and lakes after a rainfall.  Think about birds eating poisoned berries, bees that pollinate our food crops, and fish affected by poisoned waterways.   

Back in 2017, PVEC Member Voices began its work in response to PVEC’s unannounced spraying of the right-of-way on properties of thousands of member-owners.  Even member-owners not opposed to the use of chemical sprays were angry because there was no notification.  People in hazmat suits were walking around outside their homes spraying by gardens, ponds, beehives, and places where children play.  

Since then, PVEC has significantly improved its right-of-way management. PVEC developed, with Member Voices, an opt out policy for people who do not want chemicals used on their property. Notification of spraying locations is now published on the PVEC website, so people are prepared and can protect their pets, families and bee hives.  

Member Voices encourages you to sign up for the opt out option.  Many of us have taken advantage of this opportunity.  It is a two year contract, covering one year of spraying, as PVEC sprays every other year.  The member has to keep the right-of-way (or a part of the right-of-way) cleared.  The ability to avoid spraying totally or partially is a definite plus for you, your property and the environment. 

 The contract can be seen at   If you want to opt out or learn more about opting out, contact PVEC  at 423/626-5204 and ask about opting out of spraying – or contact member Voices through  and we will guide you through the process.

Member Voices is a group of PVEC members who work together to increase member involvement and transparency in the cooperative. Member Voices has worked with PVEC for five years to provide solutions to problems that are of concern for PVEC members.   For more information about Member Voices and our activities, go to  To learn more about our electric cooperative go to

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