Eruv FAQ

  • This eruv is a narrow strip of white plastic conduit, 1 inch wide and 14 to 22 feet long, that runs vertically attached to the side of certain utility poles.
  • Our practice is consistent with federal and state laws governing utility pole attachments in the broad sense. Our practice is consistent with a number of court rulings pertaining to eruvs in the specific sense.
  • Both federal and state courts have been consistently supportive of the legality of eruv attachments. The courts have ruled that. because a wide variety of attachments are already legally allowed to be mounted on utility poles, the eruv cannot be excluded. The courts classify the eruv as a pole attachment and that's how O&R is required to treat the eruv.
  • It does not. O&R is a private company rather than a government organization. Therefore, the doctrine of "separation and church and state" does not apply.
  • Federal and state laws dating back to 1978 have set forth requirements governing attachments to utility poles.

    Though originally addressing the then-new cable television industry in those requirements, as the uses for the utility pole's space grew, the state and federal regulators permitted other attachments on the poles.

  • Some of the other attachments, in addition to the eruv, are telecommunications fiber optic cable, security cameras, license plate readers, small cell antennas and automated metering devices. Under the regulations, those uses, terms and charges are established by agreement of the utility pole owner and the entity seeking to attach to the pole.
  • Yes. A description of the requirements is in O&R's Pole Attachment Policy. Under this policy, all attachees must go through a process which provides for an application and fee, licensing agreements, insurance requirements, surveys, and inspections by O&R before and after the installation.
  • Yes. O&R uses the same formula to compute the annual charge for each pole attachment under this policy.
  • In 2016, O&R had contracts for pole attachments under this policy with 70 cable and telecommunications companies, and a number of other public and private entities. Also, 18 municipalities have contracts with O&R that permit holiday lighting installations on poles. Those charges are determined through a flat, kilowatt-hour usage fee.
  • No. Approximately 30 of the 50 United States have at least one eruv.

    There are approximately 50 recorded eruv installations in New York State and 22 in New Jersey.

    All of downtown Washington, D.C., including the National Mall, memorials, the White House, the Capitol, the Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery, is located within an eruv.

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