Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 43
Spring weather often brings tornados and severe storms. While transmission lines can withstand severe weather, the potential exists for storm damage, including downed power lines. Here are a few safety tips if you should encounter a downed power line.
- If you see a downed line, always assume it is live. You cannot tell if it is energized just by looking at it.
- Move away from it and anything touching it with shuffling, small steps. Keep your feet together and on the ground at all times to minimize the potential for a shock.
- Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object such as a broom or stick.
- Do not touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located.
We’re gearing up to celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, with a variety of activities for our inaugural Earth Day of Caring. Employees in our Kingsford, Mich., office will assist the Dickinson Conservation District plant white pine seedlings and help prepare seedlings and fruit trees for sale in early May. The Baird Creek Foundation in Green Bay will benefit from our De Pere employees who will go on the prowl for invasive species along a popular parkway. Pewaukee employees will join thousands of other volunteers organized by Milwaukee Riverkeeper to remove trash and perform spring clean-up along rivers in the metro area. Getting dirty and having fun while restoring and maintaining the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s prairie, marsh and woodlands will keep our Madison and Cottage Grove employees busy.
Our environmental commitment is woven into the fabric of ATC. We continually balance our responsibility to ensure electric reliability with environmental stewardship in our transmission line projects, community outreach and right-of-way maintenance activities.
You can read more about our stewardship connections in our 2014 Environmental Annual Report.
During their April meeting, the American Transmission Co. Board of Directors selected ATC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Rowe to serve as ATC’s next president and chief executive officer.
Rowe has been with ATC for more than eight years. He joined the company in January 2006 as vice president of Construction, and in 2012 was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer with responsibility for Asset Management and System Operations. In May 2014 he also assumed overall responsibility for System Planning. Under Rowe’s direction, ATC put processes in place that helped the company complete more than $2 billion in projects on time, within budget and delivering value to its customers.
Outgoing President, CEO and Chairman John Procario, who announced last year his plans to retire, will hand over the reins to Rowe on May 1. To ensure a smooth transition, Procario will serve as executive chairman until his retirement on July 31, and will continue as chair of the ATC board through the end of 2015.
Congratulations to Mike Rowe on his new role!
2014 annual report features best-in-class operations, community involvement, environmental stewardship
Each year, American Transmission Co. issues an Annual Report that highlights construction and operations, project updates, financial information and more.
2014 highlights include:
Operational excellence: We earned a “best in class” performance rating for 100- to 161-kilovolt circuits in a longitudinal industry study and ranked in the top 10 percent for 345- to 500-kV circuits.
Improved electric reliability, innovative technology: A project near St. Ignace, Mich., to better manage the flow of electricity between Upper and Lower Michigan. The flow-control device, one of only three such facilities in the country, began providing geographically widespread reliability benefits soon after it began commercial operation.
Environmental activities above and beyond the lines: Stewardship efforts and work this year included a study of bee habitat and behavior in transmission line corridors, projects to curb the spread of invasive species and the company’s Avian Protection Program.
Giving back: Employees are at the heart of the company’s community relations; more than 100 employees participated in United Way Days of Caring activities around the state. ATC connects with communities in other ways, including sponsorships benefiting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, the Urban League and the YMCA. The company contributed $600,000 to more than 500 charitable and community programs in the area it serves.
Now we know how big an elephant’s footprint really is. The award even has a real African elephant footprint. We’re proud to support the important education and conservation work the Zoological Society of Milwaukee provides to the community.
Over the past decade, ATC has sponsored Party for the Planet, a two-day event that celebrates Earth Day and Migratory Bird Day. The event helps educate zoo visitors about environmental stewardship with fun, interactive activities. Our exhibit allows visitors to compare their wingspan to those of a bald eagle, whooping crane, osprey and black crow. ATC strives to minimize the impact that transmission line construction and operation have on wildlife throughout our service area with our Avian Protection program.
Last year, a local Cub Scout troop helped Milwaukee County Zoo Forester Alex Krutsch and other volunteers plant more than 100 native trees and shrubs representing 13 different species on the zoo grounds. ATC provided the zoo with assistance for removing damaged vegetation and invasive species and replacing them with native trees and shrubs. Restoration of this area was done to help to diversify plant and animal species, improve air quality, reduce the zoo’s carbon footprint and enhance the beauty of the zoo. ATC supports the planting of trees and vegetation a safe distance from transmission lines to help ensure public safety and ensure electric system reliability. You can learn more about it by checking out our Grow Smart program.