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Environmental Consultants

520 Business Park Circle
Stoughton, WI 53589
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I consider ECI for my vegetation management program needs?

A: ECI’s history is deeply rooted in research. Our research has led to many of the industry best practices recognized today. We clearly understand what works and what does not…and we practice what we preach. ECI provides total management for several utility vegetation programs across the nation. So you can rest assured that our program assessments and recommendations are based on tried and true methods.

Consulting Services

ECI recognizes that any service provided by a consulting firm is really only as good as the bench strength of the consultants team.  That is why at ECI, we have assembled a consulting team of the top professionals in the Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) industry. Each member of our senior staff averages more than 25 years of experience in vegetation management consulting and utility operations. ECI's Consulting Services group includes specialists in transmission rights-of-way management, distribution line clearance operations, and wood pole maintenance programs. We specialize in utility vegetation management issues, including everything from high-level program assessments to workload surveys and development of site-specific work plans. Whether you are a large investor owned electric utility, a small municipal or electric cooperative or a major gas transmission company, we have a service that can be tailored to meet your needs. 

What ECI Consulting Services Can Do for You:

Transmission Rights-of-Way Assessments
ECI offers independent assessments of utility right-of-way program management plans and assessments of vegetation conditions on utility transmission corridors in relation to NERC FAC-003-3 compliance.

     Why Hire ECI?
          - ECI consultants have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to                               transmission right-of-way vegetation management.
          - ECI has prepared numerous detailed vegetation management plans for the control of vegetation on                     transmission rights-of-way including the integration of specific state regulatory and environmental                       requirements.
          - ECI has authored several transmission studies, including these for the Electric Power Research                       Institute (EPRI):
          - Electric Transmission Right-of-Way Post-Blackout Vegetation Management Strategies. EPRI. 2007.                   1012551.
          - Assessment of Environmental Effects of Underground and Overhead Transmission Line Construction             and Maintenance in the United States. EPRI. 2008. 1015597.
          - Transmission Rights-of-Way Invasive Non-Native Woody Plant Species Control. EPRI. 2006.                               1010127.
          - Electric Transmission Rights-of-Way Uses and Risks. EPRI. 2004. 1009479.
          - Wildlife and Integrated Vegetation Management on Electric Transmission Line Rights-of-Way.                             Technical Update. EPRI. 2002. 1005366.
          - Landscape Fragmentation and Electric Transmission Corridor Siting and Management. EPRI.                             2003.1005371.
          - Wildlife and Integrated Vegetation Management on Electric Transmission Line Rights-of-Way                               Technical Update. EPRI. 2002 1005366.

Distribution Program Assessments and Business Plans
Our services include diagnostic program assessments, statistical sampling to document vegetation workload, and development of comprehensive business plans. A unique management optimization model has been developed to assess alternative management strategies and their implications for return on investment and reliability, which results in alignment with performance goals.

     Why Hire ECI?
          - ECI has helped more than 200 utilities enhance their vegetation management programs.
          - ECI developed state-of-the-art methodology for conducting statistically valid sample surveys with                         proven results.
          - ECI has led the industry in moving away from the traditional focus on tree trimming to a focus on                         system reliability, a shift that is allowing utilities to improve system performance and reduce operating               costs.
          - ECI is consistently at the forefront in the development of reliability-focused, cost-effective line                               clearance programs.

Emerald Ash Borer Risk Assessments
Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) killed by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) pose a significant reliability and safety risk to electrical facilities. Understanding and quantifying the ash tree population with the potential to contact the electric facilities is essential to developing a management plan to mitigate these risks. A proactive ash tree removal management plan has been shown to be significantly cheaper than dealing with the outages and damage caused by failing ash trees on the backend. ECI provides the resources and technical experience needed to help you identify and minimize your EAB issues. 

     Why Hire ECI?
          - ECI has expanded sample survey methodologies to support the special needs of EAB management                 plan development.
          - ECI understands the statistics behind line contact probability and can effectively estimate the potential               reliability impacts.
          - ECI is experienced with writing ash tree mitigation plans and developing the necessary budget                           requirements.

Asset Inventories and Inspections
ECI provides GIS surveys of your electric or gas facilities. Need to know if your overhead electric facilities are compliant with the National Electric Safety Code (NESC), we can help.  Need to update your gas pipeline maps, we can help with that as well.

     Why Hire ECI?
           - ECI’s consulting team is experienced with providing gas pipeline inspections and mapping.
           - ECI is experienced with electric facility asset surveys and attachment surveys.
           - Our professional team can design an inventory or inspection program to fit your individual needs and                budget.

ECI provides comparative analysis and process benchmarking services to help clients understand their industry position. Results are used to identify best practices and opportunities for program improvement. The information presented in ECI benchmarking studies provide quantifiable measures to track performance and provide factual data that can be used for business case development.

     Why Hire ECI?
          - The information presented in ECI benchmarking studies provide quantifiable measures to track                          performance and provide factual data that can be used for business case development.
          - ECI’s benchmarking processes include normalization of data for meaningful “apples-to-apples”                         comparison between utilities, designed to help clients improve performance.
          - ECI’s Process Benchmarking is designed around discrete processes related to vegetation                                 management to provide unique insight to participants.

Expert Witness
From rate case support to personal injury cases, ECI’s senior management team stands ready to provide expert witness testimony on all matters related to utility vegetation management.

     Why Hire ECI?
          - ECI is the first choice among utilities needing support in the areas of business case development,                     program management improvement or litigation/regulatory support and testimony.
          - ECI’s meticulous investigation is well documented, as to provide a step-by-step description of the                     process for accurate record keeping. ECI has provided recommendations and projections used in                     rate cases in eight states.

ECI’s practical research related to vegetation management has helped set ECI apart from others. Our experience in managing multi-disciplinary teams and focusing research on real questions that practitioners need answers to, has generated value above and beyond other more traditional research organizations.

     Why Hire ECI?
          - ECI has conducted over 50 research projects related to vegetation management for groups such as                 Empire State Electric Energy Research Company (ESEERCO) and Electric Power Research Institute                (EPRI), as well as proprietary research for client utilities.  Click here
 to see a full list of project                               bibliographies.
          - ECI has conducted numerous environmental studies, including wetlands studies, herbicide use                         studies, environmental impact statements (EIS) for right-of-way management and Tree Growth                           Regulator (TGR) use, and buffer zone effectiveness studies.
          - Research into how trees cause outages shed light on the interactions between electrical conductors                 and trees.
          - The Economic Impacts of Deferring Electric Utility Tree Maintenance study completed by ECI                               continues to be widely used to assess the impact of line clearance program budget reductions.
          - ECI’s ongoing Green Lane Research Demonstration Project in Pennsylvania, begun in 1987, is a                       long-term, continuous study that examines the impacts of various right-of-way vegetation                                       management techniques.

ECI is Your Logical Choice

Hiring a qualified utility vegetation management consultant is not a task that should be taken lightly. As the industry leader for more than 40 years, ECI understands the vegetation management industry and can provide the technical expertise and knowledge that only comes with experience.

1. Industry Wide Knowledge of Best practices
          - Over 40 years of experience developing comprehensive vegetation management programs.
          - Experience and expertise gained through our partnerships with over 200 utilities throughout North                     America and the United Kingdom.
          - ECI has literally written the book on electric utility industry best practices.
2. Technical Skills Augmentation
          - ECI will provide the technical resources to supplement and partner with your existing knowledgeable                 team.
          - ECI avails itself of a professional, technical, and support staff, including a group of specialized                             scientists, engineers, and field technicians, to help clients solve complex environmental and                               operations problems, through cost-effective management practices and state-of-the-art quality control               methods.
          - ECI’s senior staff has experience running both large and small utility vegetation management                             programs and truly understands program cost drivers and the unique challenges faced by vegetation                 managers.
          - ECI’s cutting-edge research efforts are consistently integrated with our consulting services, ensuring                 that the latest information is incorporated into program development.
3. Proven Track Record
          - For utilities that have implemented our programs, our projections have proven to be accurate. These                 utilities have also discovered that ECI's recommendations lead to increased service reliability,                             reduced long-term costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

The same five basic core values that guide our organization are evident throughout each Consulting Services project we undertake:
          - Trust, through integrity, knowledge, maturity, professionalism, and character. Clients can rest                             assured that client confidentiality is of top priority.
          - Quality, by applying the best industry resources available to drive quality solutions for our clients.
          - Innovation, by providing innovative solutions based on expert research and practical application to the               challenges facing our clients.
          - Balance, by providing quality services on time and within budget.
          - Opportunity, through performance, innovation, and leadership, making ECI the most preferred utility                 vegetation management consulting company in the industry.

ECI understands that every client is different and we tailor each individual project to meet the specific needs of our clients. Call us today to see how ECI can help you take your vegetation management program to the next level.

International Society of ArboricultureEdison Electric InstituteNational Rural Electric Cooperative AssociationUtility Arborist Association

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