Course Duration: 1 Day
Course Format: Lecture type format with extensive interaction through example discussion.
Target Participants: Utility executives, vegetation managers, operations and asset managers, engineers, technicians, compliance managers, legal and regulatory personnel, land management and real estate/easement personnel.
Key Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this training course, participants will have a basic understanding of the following: 1) History of laws and regulations and their impact on utility vegetation management (UVM); 2) How the utility function is influenced by laws and regulations; 3) Noteworthy legal and regulatory cases involving UVM; 4) Legal and regulatory trends in UVM.

Course Instructor

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Stephen R. Cieslewicz has established himself as a leading expert in utility vegetation management (UVM). In working with utilities, regulators and service providers around the world, Cieslewicz has been directly involved in the bulk of tree and power line issues of note. He was a principal UVM investigator for the Joint U.S./Canada Power Systems Outage Task Force, a principal author of all UVM related reports following the August 14, 2003 blackout, and is currently a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) FAC-003 drafting committees. Cieslewicz has testified as an expert at many significant legal, regulatory and legislative hearings. He is a past president of the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) and a recipient of numerous awards, including the UAA Utility Arborist Award, UAA President’s Award, and certificates of appreciation from the U.S. and Canadian governments. In 2011, he was recognized by GreenMedia as one of the 8 most influential people in the green industry. Cieslewicz is also a well known speaker and author on UVM issues.

Course Highlights:
History of Laws and Regulations Program

In order to understand the magnitude of changes to the laws and regulations discussed later in the course it is important to first understand the history of UVM in the context of laws and regulations. In this section of the training course, participants will gain an understanding of the origins of UVM, the industry’s initial focus on laws and regulations, and the stark differences between the state of the industry as few as 10 years ago and the state of it today. The basic laws, standards and regulations impacting the UVM industry will be reviewed, as well as the key factors that have driven their transformation.

Influence of Laws and Regulations on Utility Vegetation Management

Within the last decade, increased scrutiny from the public, regulators, and lawmakers has manifested itself in the creation of new laws and regulations and subsequent focus on a utility’s compliance with and accountability for UVM activities. In this section of the training, participants will learn how a variety of laws and regulations, such as FAC-003 and changing state and provincial laws, have influenced UVM activities.

Noteworthy Legal and Regulatory Cases Involving Utility Vegetation Management

UVM activities are becoming a routine part of regulatory and legal hearings as either an ancillary issue or the focal point of the proceedings. UVM activities, or the lack thereof, are appearing in rate cases, rulemaking proceedings, wildland fire lawsuits, third party injury or fatality cases, and legislative hearings. In this section of the training, participants will review many of the cases that appear to be setting precedents and influencing utilities’ liability and vegetation management activities.

Legal and Regulatory Trends in Utility Vegetation Management

Based on CN Utility Consulting’s industry wide review of laws and regulations and direct involvement in many of the noteworthy legal and regulatory cases discussed in the previous section of the training course, this section will focus on expected trends.

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