UW-Madison: Public comment invited on proposed UW-Madison heating plant project

CONTACT: Alan Fish, 608-262-3488, afish@fpm.wisc.edu

MADISON – A public informational meeting about the proposed rebuilding of the Charter Street Heating Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will include representatives of UW-Madison and an external design team.

The “scoping meeting” it will cover a proposal to expand and rebuild the plant, with information presented by UW-Madison’s Facilities, Planning and Management and the P3M/Potter Lawson Group. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 5:30-8 p.m. in UW-Madison’s Welcome Center (Rooms 1106 and 1108), 21 N. Park St. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the adjacent parking ramp.

Alan Fish, associate vice chancellor for facilities, will present a brief description of the project and its potential impacts. The meeting, which will include visual displays and a public comment period, precedes the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) by Ayres and Associates.

“As we go through the design process, we want to get as much input as we can to make sure we cover any concerns from the public,” says John Harrod, director of the university’s Physical Plant.

Impacts identified during the scoping process will be incorporated into a draft EIS, which will be made available to the public for a 45-day review period and circulated to appropriate federal, state and local agencies.

The proposed project would eliminate the heating plant’s use of coal fuel and move to the use of biomass. Expansion would include new boilers; a new steam turbine; rail delivery-system upgrades for biomass; and demolition, rebuilding and replacement of existing coal-fired boilers. The $250 million project is targeted to start in May 2010 with anticipated completion by December 2013.

For additional information about the project and the review process, visit http://www.ayresprojectinfo.com/Charter/.