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Regulatory Update

Vegetation Management Standard FAC-003-4 to become Effective October 1, 2016

Diane Fitzgerald | September 19, 2016

The mandatory NERC FAC-003-4 standard regarding Vegetation Management has been modified to increase vegetation clearance requirements. The revised standard becomes enforceable on October 1, 2016. It is important for utilities to recognize the new version of the FAC-003-4 standard and to adjust their clearance requirements used for right of way management. 

How to Prepare

A key element of any successful compliance program is to be prepared to address changing regulatory requirements across your system. Under this revised standard, utilities should:

  • Confirm that their vegetation management team members and vegetation management contractors are aware of the most current clearance requirements in the standard; and
  •  Confirm that their vegetation management internal control or program documents contain the most current clearances called for in the standard.

TRC’s environmental and vegetation management program experts can support both the preparation of integrated vegetation management programs and provide advice regarding advanced implementation of the vegetation management program changes needed to address the forthcoming mandatory standard changes. For more information, please contact us.

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Diane Fitzgerald

Diane Fitzgerald is an experienced manager in environmental, safety, health, and sustainability strategy, including environmental stewardship, compliance, sustainability reporting, management systems, stakeholder engagement, and climate change issues. Prior to joining TRC, Diane completed a 29-year career at American Electric Power (AEP), where she was Managing Director – Environmental Affairs. In this role she led a team implementing environmental and safety and health management systems and was also a key member of AEP’s sustainability team, developing and implementing strategies for the company’s continual performance improvement. Diane has a B. A. in Environmental Studies and Economics from Butler University and completed the executive program at the Darden Business School at the University of VA. Contact Diane at

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