BPA’s AVED program centralizes the response and tracking of unauthorized camping and abandoned materials on BPA’s rights-of-way and fee-owned properties.
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Being such a complex program with multiple external parties involved, AVED’s success depends on close partnership with several internal teams as well.

Laura Pagano, lead for the program established under Transmission Engineering and Technical Services
Abandoned vehicles and trash dumping in the Bonneville Power Administration’s rights-of-way and fee-owned properties are not new issues for the agency. But with a significant increase in this type of activity, as well as unauthorized encampments, in transmission corridors across the region, BPA found the need for a unified response to prevent impacts to the grid’s safety and reliability. 
 
BPA is launching a new program called AVED – Abandoned Vehicles, Encampments, Dumpsites – to centralize the response and tracking of unauthorized camping and dumping on its rights-of-way and fee-owned properties. AVED, the first formal program of its kind for the agency, enables complex coordination between BPA and multiple community stakeholders to respond to encroachments.

Mitigation and prevention efforts include repairing damaged locks or barriers, cleaning up areas where homeless individuals set up temporary shelters or encampments, and removing debris dumpsites and derelict vehicles. 
These actions are necessary to protect BPA transmission assets and preserve access to those assets for line crews and operators. Life safety is also a central concern as living directly beneath transmission lines or a tower is inherently dangerous in the event of equipment failure. Additionally, BPA is entrusted with proper stewardship of lands where it holds real property.

BPA approaches these cleanups with sensitivity and compassion by working closely with local community outreach programs that consider the rights and needs of individuals who may be associated with an encroachment and experiencing homelessness.

“Being such a complex program with multiple external parties involved, AVED’s success depends on close partnership with several internal teams as well,” said Laura Pagano, lead for the program established under Transmission Engineering and Technical Services. “We consistently work with Energy Infrastructure Delivery, Physical Security, Realty, Transmission Field Services and Legal to make sure we’re taking the right steps and communicating efficiently. The end result is we have established a centralized system for reporting incidents and have coordinated management and tracking incidents.” 

Some key benefits of the program include the following:
  • Improved understanding of the impacts of encampments on BPA systems.
  • Accurate reporting of the volume and costs by incident type, region and risk level.
  • Status updates on incident response progression.
  • Situational awareness to field workers on prevalent and recurring camp/dump sites.
  • Development and efficacy measurement of prevention methods.
  • Relationship-building with communities and stakeholders. 

To date, the program has completed 12 site cleanups. The program will formally “go-live” following the approval and publishing of the new BPA procedure, which is expected later this month.

If you encounter an abandoned vehicle, encampments or dumpsites that appears to be on or in close proximity to BPA assets or property, please report it to the AVED program by emailing TEBW-AVED@bpa.gov.

Learn more about the program from the AVED SharePoint site

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