Date: 5/30/19 2:10 pm
From: Peter Fissel <pfissel...>
Subject: [wisb] Fw: Re: Follow up- Interurban bike trail disruption Oz county
-------- Original message --------
From: Michael John Jaeger <jaegermj...>
Date: 05/30/2019 12:46 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: <petermckeever...>, <birdmandan813...>, <wisbirdn...>
Subject: RE: [wisb] Re: Follow up- Interurban bike trail disruption Oz county

Peter's probably right that ATC doesn't want negative publicity, but I think they have chosen to avoid a different type of bad publicity.
Disclosure, I spent my career working for the state Public Service Commission and have had many opportunities to interact with ATC.  I'm not in anyway speaking for the PSC here, that's what I happily retired from.
ATC does have an obligation to provide reliable electricity safely.  There has been a lot of pressure over the past score of years to have utilities keep up with clearing hazard vegetation from their powerline rights-of-ways.  The Great Northeast Blackout was caused by deferred vegetation management.  Some of the big California fires the past couple of years also started with vegetation contact with powerlines. I believe this is the kind of bad publicity that ATC has decided to avoid.
ATC has to have an approved vegetation management with a federal electric reliability group (my memory seems to point to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC).  The impression I had was that as long as ATC was complying with their vegetation management plan, they were off the hook for serious fines, etc.  ATC will keep pointing back to their required plan and that they need to provide a reliable, safe system, when questioned why they clear-cut from edge to edge.
But, there are other ways to meet the right-of-way clearing requirements, but ATC doesn't seem at all open to considering them.  These other methods may be more expensive, and I think ATC would rather face bad local publicity than to face fines from the safety regulators.
You've got a tough nut to rack and ATC seems really entrenched.
-Michael John

-------- Original message --------
From: Peter McKeever <petermckeever...>
Date: 05/30/2019 11:55 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: <birdmandan813...>, <wisbirdn...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: Follow up- Interurban bike trail disruption Oz county

Call ATC and get a supervisor on the line.....the last thing they want is
bad publicity. So call the local paper.

Peter McKeever

-----Original Message-----
From: <wisbirdn-bounce...> [mailto:<wisbirdn-bounce...>]
On Behalf Of d pan
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2019 7:35 AM
To: <wisbirdn...>
Subject: [wisb] Follow up- Interurban bike trail disruption Oz county

A week has passed since I posted about the destruction of active nesting
sites along this trail by ATC (American Transmission Company).  I received
lots of encouragement from many members of this list with ideas and support-
I started by calling USFWS in Wisconsin- They referred me to the MN office
- charged with mid-west avian issues. This office suggested that the
combination of the current administration, some previous court rulings, and
the company's (ATC) need to clear power company right-of-ways (just doing
their job) wouldn't support a lawsuit (worst case scenario) to stop them
from continuing their work clear cutting habitat during the nesting season
(referred to as incidental take by USFWS).

On a local level, I have communicated my dissatisfaction to the Ozaukee
county planning and parks and received a response that they will try to
contact our power supplier (WE Energies) in hopes of initiating contact with
the proper ATC official to work out an understanding...........

Meanwhile, during most of this past week, brush clearing has continued, my
disappointment has grown, and more and more birds have wondered where their
nests have gone-

Dan Panetti
S.E. Ozaukee county

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