Duke Energy says it has temporarily stopped using a chemical product that keeps limbs away from power lines by stunting tree growth.
The Charlotte Observer reports that use of the chemical angered Charlotte residents who said they were blindsided and worried the chemicals would leach into groundwater and harm small children and pets.
Work crews canvassed several tree-lined neighborhoods in recent weeks, injecting the soil near hundreds of trees with Cambistat, a product that regulates the size of limbs. Duke Energy and the Minnesota-based manufacturer maintain that the chemical is safe, and add that it actually makes trees healthier.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Layne said about 300 trees on private and public lands were treated before the effort was halted.