Early last week, a helicopter herbicide spray company working for FirstEnergy’s Mon Power sprayed herbicides on at least two of my neighbors in violation of a clearly stated “no aerial spraying” clause in the right of way agreement governing both properties.
The phone lines were hot in southern Calhoun when the helicopter made multiple runs over our area. Although the helicopter pilot did not spray on open pasture land, leaving about a 100′ buffer, dead vegetation is now clearly visible well down the wooded hillsides on both sides of our holler. These hillsides are protected by the no spray clause in the original right of way agreement which was signed in the early 1970s.
Allegheny Energy has repeatedly cut this section of right of way by hand, but this year, someone at FirstEnergy decided to break the law. This year’s spray incident is a clear violation of a recorded agreement and constitutes a trespass under WV law.
I did not see any legal notice in the Calhoun Chronicle concerning Mon Power’s 2012 spray program, as required by PSC regulations and state law. Here is a link to the ad that ran in the Gilmer Free Press. The notice is for a spray program in neighboring counties, but there is information about what phone numbers to call if they trespass on you. That number is 1-800-955-0179.
As with PATH’s “bat guys,” it appears that West Virginians are going to have to teach FirstEnergy something about private property.