High-voltage transmission lines carry electricity the north-south length of the city via a 125-foot wide swath of land that runs directly through Liberty Highlands subdivision. The land is scheduled to be cleared of all vegetation that could interfere with the lines at any point in the future.
"We've revised our standards to reclaim these easements and keep them clear of trees and vegetation to the extent that's possible," said Mary Carpenter, local relations representative with American Transmission Co.
Well. That's a shocking change in policy. Why?
ATC's aggressive approach to clearing easements comes in response to tougher federal and state standards that went into play when tree limbs interfered with transmission lines and caused widespread power failures.....
If a tree branch falls on the 345,000-volt transmission lines running through Brookfield, leaving residents without power, the company will face hefty federal fines.The Mayor of Brookfield, a lawyer, doesn't seem to make the connection:
Mayor Steven Ponto said he "urged restraint," but he feels that ATC's people on the ground aren't given latitude by the company to make concessions.
"They have a very aggressive policy of clearing trees that could, however theoretically, become a risk in the future. If a tree is going to be more than 8 feet high, they'll clear it when it's 1 foot high," he said. "I, myself, think it's an overreaction."No, Steve. It ain't ATC's "overreaction". It's the FED and STATE REGULATIONS.
Get it? FED AND STATE REGULATIONS.
In other words, Steve, it is the Government which forced ATC to kill the trees.