Pepco customers consider legal action against tree removal

(WJLA) - Many Potomac-area residents are steaming mad at Pepco for the power company's massive tree removal project in their neighborhood.

Mark Siegel and his Potomac Crest neighbors are trying to protect the trees in their community - many of which have now been marked with blue dots, meaning their days may be numbered.

Residents say mature trees in many of their backyards have been marked - and they say, without them, their views just won't be the same.

"It's going to hurt the aesthetics," says Siegel. "It's going to destroy the environment. It provides protection and privacy and a natural border between the power lines and the large transmission lines, and that's going to all go away."

The trees were identified last week. In some cases, the markings were seen after residents got home from work.

"There's something to argue - whether Pepco [has]{ } the right of way, whether it's really our property and they're interfering with our owner property rights," says fellow resident Fan Yang.

Residents say they don't understand why they're being taken down, as the neighborhood does not have chronic power outage issues like others in the county. They say, they think Pepco is taking the easy way out.

"I believe it's a lot cheaper for them to just go in and chop down the tree line completely, because then you don't have to come back and maintain anymore," says resident Gail Prentiss.

In a statement, Pepco representatives said, "Our tree pruning and maintenance efforts comply with all applicable laws and regulations, and are consistent with best practices and those of neighboring utilities."

The trees could reportedly come down within the next two weeks.

Residents in the Potomac Crest neighborhood say they are weighing their options, including taking legal action to stop their trees' removal.