The World Health Organization has identified “The Lack of Clean Drinking Water” as one of the world’s largest potential crisis in the next two decades. Wood preservatives account for nearly
one-third of the 2.4 billion pounds of pesticides annually used in the U.S. Nearly 600 million cubic feet of wood poles (approx. four million poles) are treated with these chemicals each year. The three major chemical wood preservatives are pentachlorophenol (penta), creosote, and arsenicals (copper chromium arsenate, or CCA). Chemical treating of wood poles is one of the last remaining uses of penta and creosote – 43% of all poles are treated with penta; 42% of all poles are treated with arsenic (CCA); and 13% are still treated with creosote.

Most of the focus from environmental groups has been on the poles supporting thousands of miles of transmission and distribution lines throughout our country and very little focus has been given to our storage yard facilities. That is now changing. The Environmental Protection Agency is starting to look at our pole storage facilities particularly in environmentally sensitive areas. Keeping our environment clean is all of our responsibility. Is your utility company being environmentally proactive?