Leaders of Stop Dominion met with Mayor John Tecklenburg and city officials today and there was substantial progress but the Mayor refused to issue a stop work order and halt Dominion Energy’s abusive tree cutting in Charleston neighborhoods.
“We are glad that the Mayor met with us and there was agreement on a number of important issues,” said Phil Noble, Co-founder of Stop Dominion. “But Tecklenburg refused to stop the cutting and as a result, while the City is talking Dominion is cutting.”
At Stop Dominion’s suggestion, Mayor Tecklenburg agreed to contact the other cities in the region to work together to develop a joint policy with Dominion to govern all tree cutting in the region.
“If all the cities come together and develop a common policy, this would be a giant step forward,” said Billy Want, Stop Dominion’s attorney. “For too long Dominion has acted like a bully and together the cities can force Dominion to adopt better cutting practices.”
There was general agreement between Stop Dominion and City officials on a number of important points. They agreed:
- Dominion’s current cutting practices do not fulfill the requirements of their current agreement with the City;
- The current agreement is inadequate and a new agreement is needed;
- Better cutting than currently being implemented is feasible and needs to be expeditiously achieved.
Stop Dominion outlined how other cities have much more restrictive cutting practices that should be adopted by the City. For example: in Charleston the agreement allows for Dominion to cut trees 10 feet from the wires and New York City requires only 6 feet clearance.
“Charleston deserves the best and the City needs to tell Dominion what is acceptable and not the other way around,” said Want.
Stop Dominion has called for a stop work order to prevent further improper cutting until steps are taken to assure compliance with the existing Tree Protection Agreement. Tecklenburg cited other times when he has issued a stop work order but when pressed by Stop Dominion, Tecklenburg said he needed more information.
Noble said, “Now we have the tail wagging the dog and that needs to stop. We urge all the citizens of Charleston to call Mayor Tecklenburg and tell him to stop the cutting now to prevent more improper cutting. He can do it and he should do it – now.”
About Stop Dominion - Stop Dominion is a grassroots community group formed to hold Dominion Energy accountable for its irresponsible tree cuttings and other abusive practices.