Flower Mound Leader > News
Tree survey to begin next week
Flower Mound officials said that an extensive tree survey will begin this week to help determine how many trees need to be removed for natural gas pipeline maintenance.
Atmos Pipeline-Texas informed the town last month that it planned to remove trees within 25 feet on either side of the right-of-way where a pipeline exists throughout a span of 12 miles in Flower Mound. Atmos officials said the reason is to have better access to the pipelines for repair and maintenance.
Town spokesperson Molly Fox said the detailed tree survey schedule is expected to be finalized by Monday with the survey taking place later in the week. She said Tour 18 Golf Course is likely the first area to be surveyed. She said the survey is expected to take place through November.
Charles Yarborough, vice president of rates and regulatory affairs for Atmos Pipeline-Texas said it's also necessary to remove the trees because they often get in the way of aerial surveying of pipeline leakage by the use of a laser.
Yarborough said surveying can be done on foot, though it's more difficult and costly. He said a ground survey can cost about $176 per mile with obstacles, or $101 per mile with a clear path, though he added Flower Mound has a lot of trees in the way.
By contrast, he said an aerial survey costs about $109 per mile.
He also said according to record plats and the town's tree ordinance, Atmos has the authority to clear its right-of-way areas. Yarborough said often times developers and HOAs plant trees without looking at the replats, which he said is one reason this situation has happened.
Council members, however, urged Atmos-Pipeline to wait until the two sides can determine how many trees in fact need to be removed.