§ 136‑133.4.  Selective vegetation removal permits.

(a) Selected vegetation within the approved limits shall be cut, thinned, pruned, or removed by the permittee or the permittee's agent in accordance with accepted International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) standards.

(b) Permits are valid for a period of one year. The permittee may cut, thin, prune, or remove vegetation more than one time per year. A 48‑hour notification shall be provided to the Department by the permittee before entering the right‑of‑way.

(c) The permittee, or the permittee's agent, shall not impede the flow of traffic on any highway while performing vegetation removal authorized by a permit. Access to the work site on controlled access highways must be gained without using the main travel way of the highway. The Department shall determine the traffic control signage that may be required. The permittee shall furnish, erect, and maintain the required signs as directed by the Department. The permittee, or the permittee's agent, shall wear safety vests that conform to OSHA standards while performing the work.

(d) Any damage to vegetation designated to remain at the site, to highway fences, signs, paved areas, or other facilities shall be repaired or replaced by the permittee to the condition prior to the occurrence of the damage caused by the permittee or the permittee's agent. All trimmings, laps, and debris shall be removed from the right‑of‑way and disposed of in areas provided by the permittee. No burning or burying of trimmings, laps, or debris shall be permitted on the highway right‑of‑way. When chipping is used to dispose of trimmings, chips may be neatly spread on a right‑of‑way at locations which the Department determines will not be harmful to the environment or affect traffic safety.

(e) Willful failure to substantially comply with all the requirements specified in the selective vegetation removal permit, unless otherwise mutually resolved by the Department and the permittee, shall result in a five‑year moratorium for vegetation removal at the site, a summary revocation of the outdoor advertising permit if such willful failure meets the standards in G.S. 136‑133.1(i), payment of Department investigative costs, and forfeiture of any applicable performance bond as determined by the Secretary. The moratorium shall begin upon execution of a settlement agreement or entry of a final disposition in the case. (2011‑397, s. 7.)