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Potomac Edison Continues Vegetation Management Work to Enhance System Reliability

WILLIAMSPORT, Md., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct vegetation management work across its service area in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance system reliability.  To date, Potomac Edison tree contractors have trimmed more than 1,200 circuit miles of electric lines as part of its $17 million vegetation management spend for 2013, with an additional 1,400 miles expected to be completed by year end.

During the summer months, Potomac Edison will be conducting vegetation management in rural areas of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery and Washington counties in Maryland, along with Berkeley, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties in West Virginia.   

The tree trimming and vegetation management work is done on a 5-year cycle in Maryland to ensure proper clearances around electric circuits and equipment and help reduce tree-related outages, particularly during severe weather.  Vegetation is inspected and trees are pruned in a manner that preserves the health of the tree, while also maintaining safe and reliable electric service for customers.  In some cases, trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed.

As part of its notification process, Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform officials of vegetation management schedules.  In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.

All vegetation management work is conducted to national standards by Potomac Edison's certified forestry contractors, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company and Jaflo Inc.

For the fifteenth consecutive year, FirstEnergy, on behalf of its 10 utility companies, including Potomac Edison, recently was recognized as a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters.  The award recognizes utility companies that promote the dual goals of dependable utility service and abundant, healthy trees along America's streets and highways.  Award-winning companies demonstrate excellence in tree care, training and public education.

Potomac Edison serves about 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 132,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  Follow Potomac Edison on Twitter @PotomacEdison.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "believe," "estimate" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially due to the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases, the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from ATSI's realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, regulatory outcomes associated with Hurricane Sandy, changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and availability and their impact on retail margins, the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of CAIR, and any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the EPA's MATS rules including our estimated costs of compliance, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units), the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, the RMR arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to ME's and PN's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their TSC riders, the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units, the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the ability to reduce costs and to successfully complete our announced financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet, including but not limited to, proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives, the proposed West Virginia asset transfer and potential sale of non-core hydro assets, our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution segment and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment, changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of liabilities and the value of assets held in our NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the impact of changes to material accounting policies, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our announced financial plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries, actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business, issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business, and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our SEC filings, and other similar factors. Dividends declared from time to time on FE's common stock during any annual period may in the aggregate vary from the indicated amount due to circumstances considered by FE's Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaim any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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