Obstructions are unsafe, and can lead to major power outages

Obstructions Employee

Electric transmission lines are the backbone of the regional electric grid. They are vital to our economic health and our nation’s security.

Keeping the areas beneath them clear is critical for your safety, and the safety of our employees. And it’s an important part of maintaining the reliability of electric service for you and your neighbors.

Obstructions Example

At PPL Electric Utilities, we take a proactive approach to keeping our electric lines clear of anything that might cause a safety or reliability issue.

This means that we prohibit structures such as:

  • Swimming pools
  • Sheds
  • Decks
  • Billboards
  • Playground equipment
  • Tall fences
  • Any other obstructions under our high-voltage lines.

These things are a problem because failure to maintain adequate clearance from electric lines can be extremely dangerous.

Obstructions can make it difficult or unsafe for our crews to use our right of way for maintenance and repair. Another problem is major power outages: If a high-voltage transmission line contacts a tree or other obstruction, it can cause a dangerous short circuit and a power outage for tens of thousands of people in the region.

We recognize that this approach may not be popular with some property owners. But we work very hard to make safety a top priority and to keep our electric system reliable for all of our customers.

What is allowed in high-voltage power line rights of way?

  • Generally driveways, bike paths, gates, nature trails, certain low fences and parking lots may be permitted after PPL review.
  • We will review every request individually.
  • While we may allow these types of uses on rights of way owned by individual property owners and covered by easement agreements, we generally do not allow obstructions of any kind on property owned by PPL Electric Utilities.

You can obtain a Right of Way Exception application form by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL.

Our transmission easement agreements – for which property owners are compensated by PPL Electric Utilities – give us specific rights. Because of these agreements, PPL Electric Utilities has the right to build, maintain and operate a high-voltage transmission line. And we have the right to prohibit anything in the right of way that would interfere with these rights.

Note: PPL Electric Utilities charges a fee to process an application for approval to install an obstruction in our right of way. Fees can range from $500 to more than $1,500 depending on the complexity. We will discuss the applicable fee with you prior to processing your application. Approved requests will be formally recorded in county property records. Processing your request can take up to 90 days.