Saturday, December 17, 2011

Preserve Our Parks opposes power lines in parkway

Please write to the American Transmission Company (ATC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) and add your voices to keep power lines out of Underwood Parkway. The more letters they receive the more impact they will have. Contact information is at the bottom of this post.

Below is the text of the letter being sent by Preserve Our Parks (POP) to the ATC and the PSC in opposition to siting of the proposed power line. POP's is a principled position that doesn't recommend either of the two proposed routes from the west. Instead it recognizes the public interest in preserving parklands and open green space. (Full disclosure: I'm on the POP board and drafted the letter for the board's approval.)

I have posted two times before on this topic. To read the earlier posts and learn more about the issues, go to my statement or to public hearing. Informative photos accompany those posts, as usual.

The letter:

RE:          Transmission line routes to new County Grounds Substation

Preserve Our Parks, as its name indicates, is an organization dedicated to the preservation of parks and public green spaces. We would like to make known for the record our position on the proposed routes for the transmission lines that are planned for the Milwaukee County Grounds in Wauwatosa.
·      We oppose routing power lines, whether overhead or underground, in any part of Underwood Parkway. This would effectively eliminate most of Route B from consideration.
·      If Route A is chosen, then the segment that runs along Highway 45 through the County Grounds, should be underground. Alternatively, Route A could be used until it reaches the County Grounds at which point it could switch to the underground segment of Route B.
·      We believe that the principle of preserving the public’s interest in undisturbed parks and green spaces should be a primary consideration over and above the economics of one route versus another.
Our opposition to Route B is consistent with the position of Milwaukee County Parks Department and many other organizations concerned about parks, wildlife habitats, wetlands, open green space, and the recreational use of the Oak Leaf Trail, all of which would be compromised if a power line were sited within the Parkway. Since no other public parkway in Milwaukee County has been transformed into a power corridor, this also would set a precedent that we believe is not in the public interest.

The Parkway should not be chosen simply because it is the cheapest route since it is inherently less expensive to develop in parklands than in places with established development. Although the specifics of the case dealt with road construction instead of power lines, this principle was established in U.S. Supreme Court case law in CITIZENS TO PRESERVE OVERTON PARK v. VOLPE, 401 U.S. 402 (1971).

The decision about which two of four routes to use for these transmission lines assumes the need for additional power in this area, an assumption we do not necessarily share. We urge the Public Service Commission to look closely at this assumption and to examine other options available. These should include ambitious and creative reconsideration of how power is used by the Milwaukee County Medical Complex as well as requiring any new development at Innovation Park, the Research Park, and elsewhere to meet stringent and sustainable limits on energy usage.

Contact info:

ATC will be accepting comments until mid-January.  Email Mary Carpenter:

The PSC is responsible for the final decision. Therefore a letter to them is critical to provide support for the parkway.

PSC: Reference the Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project, Docket #5-CE-139. Email Mr. Ali Wali:

No comments:

Post a Comment