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What is Pepco's Tree Trimming Cycle?

Every 2-3 years Pepco performs maintenance trimming to remove tree growth that could interfere with our lines. Maintenance trimming does not include the removal of large overhanging branches, nor does it include the removal of dead branches outside the trim zone. The DC Department of Transportation/Urban Forestry Division has the full authority to manage tree maintenance in public space. Brochures that outline Pepco's extensive vegetative guidelines are available. Information can also be found on-line at:

Who do residents call to report dangerous branches on trees in the neighborhood?

The customer should contact Pepco @ 202-833-7500 to report hazardous conditions of tree branches.

What, if anything, was 'changed' along Allison Street NW? Were transformers replaced?

During the period from 1981 through 1989, portions of feeders were converted from a 4kV to a 13kV distribution system in order to meet increasing demand for power. This action necessitated the installation and upgrading of overhead wires and transformers along 16th Street and along Allison Street. The more our community demands electricity the greater the need for more transformers.

Identify any national standards used in the manufacture of overhead transformers.

All Pepco transformers comply with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard C57.12.20-1997 and also with the applicable requirements of ANSI, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) referred to in ANSI C57.12.20-1997 and with the latest OSHA publications and Standards.

Do existing transformers contain PCB's?

The manufacture of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's) was outlawed in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1977. PCB's are a mixture of individual chemicals which, though no longer produced, are still found in the environment. Products made before the 1977 ban may contain PCB's. As a result of this change in the law, Pepco removed and/or replaced equipment that did not comply with environmental standards.

What else can expose me to PCB's?

Using old fluorescent lighting fixtures and electrical devices and appliances, such as television sets and refrigerators, produced 30 or more years ago can expose users to PCB's. These items may leak small amounts of PCB's into the air when they get hot during operation, and could be a source of skin exposure.

What are other sources of PCB's?

Eating contaminated food. The main dietary sources of PCB's are fish (especially sportfish caught in contaminated lakes or rivers), meat, and dairy products.

Breathing air near hazardous waste sites and drinking contaminated well water.

In the workplace, during repair and maintenance of PCB transformers; accidents, fires or spills involving transformers, fluorescent lights, and other old electrical devices; and disposal of PCB materials.

The EPA has set a limit of 0.0005 milligrams of PCB's per liter of drinking water (0.0005 mg/L). Discharges, spills or accidental releases of 1 pound or more of PCB's into the environment must be reported to the EPA. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that infant foods, eggs, milk and other dairy products, fish and shellfish, poultry and red meat contain no more than 0.2-3 parts of PCB's per million parts (0.2-3 ppm) of food. Many states have established fish and wildlife consumption advisories for PCB's.

How do I get more information about PCB's?

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop F-32
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737)
FAX: (770)-488-4178

Identify any other available information or websites that can be visited to look at environmental / health issue information

Additional information can be found at the web site for The National Institute for Environmental Health Services located at

Why am I subject to frequent outages in my neighborhood, and my counterparts in other neighborhoods have consistent service?

Fifty-three percent of the time, tree-related incidents caused power interruptions along feeder 15197. In other cases, storms, squirrels, and underground cable failures have contributed to outages.

Identify what, if any, grounding checks are conducted during overhead construction / upgrade work:

Ground testing is only performed in response to voltage type complaints or for the design phase for new construction. Grounds are not normally tested "during" construction. However, if during the process of construction or maintenance work the crews notice poor connections, missing ground wires and/or grounds that do not meet current specifications; these conditions are addressed at that time.

What is the best performing overhead residential feeder? Where is it? If 15197 is improved to match the performance of the top of overhead residential feeders in the District, what performance could be expected?

The best performing feeder, comparable to Feeder 15197, is a feeder that provides electric supply from the Van Ness Substation. This feeder serves the area surrounding American University along Nebraska and New Mexico Avenues NW, down to 41st St NW. This feeder ranked in the top 25% (first quartile) of non-network distribution feeders in the District of Columbia for the period October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006. This feeder experienced five (5) transformer outages during 2006, four of which were due to animal contact and one tree-related incident. Upon completion of Pepco's recommended work on Feeder 15197, we anticipate a noticeable improvement in the service reliability.

What is outage history of the feeder serving 3rd and Gallatin St. NW? Why is this feeder better performing than 15197?

The feeder serving 3rd & Gallatin Streets is a 4kV feeder which originates out of North Capitol Street Substation. This feeder travels a shorter distance from the substation to the area it serves, hence it is subject to less overhead exposure. The feeder travels along North Capitol Street to Gallatin Street, south on Gallatin Street to Decatur Street. During 2006, this feeder experienced three interruptions (3/18/06, 3/20/06, and 9/11/06). The interruptions were due to tree contact, cause unknown, and equipment failure, respectively.

What is the age of cables and feeders serving the Crestwood area?

While some of the equipment was installed in the mid 1960's, most of the overhead system dates to the 1980's due to the conversion from a 4kV to a 13kV distribution system. Currently, Pepco is in the process of replacing the underground cable along 9th Street NW. During 2007, the age of the existing cable will be determined as it is removed.

What are next action steps?

Pepco will keep the community informed of progress and invites open communication with Kimberley Johnson at The DC Public Service Commission, through its Productivity Working Group, will also monitor progress, and be readily available for comment. These documents will be available on the Crestwood Citizens Association Website at

The next informational meeting will be hosted by the Crestwood Citizens Association and the Crestwood Neighborhood League on Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 7 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church at 4300 16th St., NW.

Can Pepco provide simplified, reduced electronic version of the on-line drawings used at the meeting?

Kimberley Johnson can provide electronic versions of referenced drawings. Please contact her at 202-872-2477 or via email at

This website and the Crestwood Citizens Association is supported by the dues of CCA members. Membership has its benefits including access to members-only resources and the knowledge that you are supporting a great neighborhood!

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