The UW-Madison has decided not to file as an intervenor in American Transmission Company's request to build a 345-kilovolt power line across Dane County. Being an intervenor would allow the UW to be more involved with the Public Service Commission's decision-making process. But the UW says its concerns are already being addressed.
"We feel like at this time, we're having our issues heard," says UW spokeswoman Dawn Crim. She notes that the PSC required ATC to evaluate burying the line underground, if the route chosen would go along the Beltline, past the UW Arboretum.
"Everyone involved understands the unique circumstances the Arboretum is in," says Crim. "No one wants to have any negative impact on the Arboretum."
The city of Madison did become an intervenor. City Attorney Mike May, who has been involved in dozens of cases before the PSC, says being an intervenor has more impact than simply speaking at public hearings.
"My experience is these cases are often decided on a technical matter as much as on the information supplied by the general public," says May. "If you don't present your viewpoints [this way], then the commission doesn't really hear it."