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Project: T173700 #4102
 

Industrial site vegetation management (ISVM) is performed in and around electric facilities, such as substations, powerplants, pole-yards, solar installations, and wind generation, as well as a myriad of other infrastructures such as oil, gas, highways, and railroads. The square miles(km) of non-paved land maintained by ISVM are unknown but these sites are collectively substantial and ubiquitous across populated areas of North America. The study included a review of related literature and a survey of electric and gas utilities to discover current vegetation management practices, particularly the bare-ground or rocked surface weed control. The results were analyzed to identify deficiencies, opportunities for improvement, best management practices, and recommendations. Nearly half of the utilities surveyed do not have a written program for ISVM and herbicides were found to be the primary tool for managing weed-free rocked surfaces. There are a limited number of herbicide modes of action (MOA) that non-selectively terminate vegetation and no new MOA have been discovered in nearly 30 years. Herbicide safety is increasingly discussed and weeds are becoming resistant, through mutation, to the effects of herbicides. These are serious problems for programs that are primarily dependent on herbicide applications. Some solutions that do not involve herbicides are available and there are strategies for maintaining the efficacy of the herbicides.

Keywords:

Geosynthetic, Geotextile, Herbicide resistance, Industrial site, Integrated vegetation management, Landscaping, Mode of action, Root barrier, Sanitation, Seedbank, Substation, Weeds