Important Pandemic & Relief Notices: HG&E offices remain closed to the public but we hope to keep in touch by phone and various online options! If you are unable to complete a request online or over the phone and would like to visit the office, please call Customer Service to make an appointment, (413) 536-9300. Please see the latest update related to pandemic operations

More Links
Image of canals.

Yearly Operational Plan

Info for: ResidentialCommercialEducationCommunityContractorsEconomic Development
Our yearly operational plan for our Hydropower Canals, Electric, and Gas distribution lines, and public pathways serves to provide details to public officials and the region in general, regarding herbicide application in our service area. This plan must be prepared annually and serves to complement a five year Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) that must also be available for public review.


About Yearly Operational Plans

Our access to utility lines is vital in maintaining safe and uninterrupted utility service. In addition, vegetation must be managed along the canals that are part of the HG&E hydropower operations. Control of vegetation along the canal banks is particularly important to prevent structural damage to the canal walls.

Management of vegetation in the HG&E utility Rights of Way (ROWs) is performed using a combination of mechanical removal methods, such as cutting and mowing, and herbicide application. HG&E plans for vegetation control are outlined in a Vegetation Management Plans (VMP). These plans are subject to public review and approval process by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, which has regulatory jurisdiction over herbicide application in utility line ROWs. Each year, HG&E must prepare a Yearly Operation Plan (YOP) that describes management practices outlined in the VMP.

The YOP provides detailed programs of vegetation management for ROWs along the canals and the gas, and electric distribution systems of HG&E. Fuss & O'Neill, Inc. prepared these plans for HG&E as required by 333 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 11.00, Rights of Way Management. Included in the YOPs are:

  • Locations of the ROWs that will be managed under this program.
  • Methods for applying herbicides that HG&E will use.
  • Herbicides that HG&E may use, along with herbicide safety information.
  • Copies of the current VMP.
  • The locations of any areas that may be sensitive to herbicide application, including private drinking water wells.

Public Review and Comment

The YOP was reviewed by the public and government officials during a comment period from February 20, 2019 through April 5, 2019. A notice regarding the availability of the YOP for review was published in the Massachusetts Environmental Monitor on  February 20, 2019. 

2019 - Holyoke Gas & Electric Yearly Operational Plan

Yearly Operational Plan  - 2019

YOP Figures
Note: Species-specific maps are not available. For further information contact Lauren Glorioso of the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program at
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 6a
Figure 6b
Figure 6c

Appendix A - Vegetation Management Plan

Appendix B - Gas and Electric Transmission/Distribution ROW Map

Appendix C - Canal Right-of-Ways Map

Appendix D - Herbicide Fact Sheets

Appendix E - Methods for Flagging Sensitive Area

Appendix F - Herbicide Labels and SDSs

Appendix G - HG&E Summary of Canal Wall Maintenance Responsibilities

Appendix H - Endangered and Threatened Species Protection Plan

Appendix I - Full Appendix

Appendix I - General Guidelines for Vegetation Management
Appendix I - Plant, Lepidoptera, Bird and Snake Habitat BMPs
Appendix I - State-listed turtle BMP
Appendix I - Vernal Pool Habitat BMP

Appendix J - NHESP Rare Animal Observation and Emergency Work Form

Appendix J - Rare Animal Observation Form
Appendix J - Rare Plant Observation Form
Appendix J - Emergency Work Form
Appendix J - Wildlife NHESP Habitat Assessment Survey Guidelines
Appendix J - Plant NHESP Habitat Assessment Survey Guidelines

Appendix K - Well Area / List

Appendix L

Appendix L - Public Notice
Appendix L - Approval Letter

Appendix M - Lower Riverside Park ROW Map

Appendix NGatehouse Park ROW Map

Back to Top

Community & Environment

View or Pay Your BillView or Pay Your Bill
Outage CenterOutage Center

Contact Information

Safety Coordinator
Email | (413) 536-9392