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PRESS RELEASEAugust 14, 2017Contact: Supervisor’s office(631) 283-6055 Connie Conway
The Town of Southampton seeks to join the lawsuit brought against PSEG Long Island by the Town of Brookhaven for erecting 79-foot-tall poles in a rural pristine section of both Brookhaven and Southampton Towns that has been over the years preserved for its natural character. Southampton filed a “motion to intervene” in New York State Supreme Court, to join the Town of Brookhaven’s action which claims PSEG failed to adequately follow the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The suit charges PSEG ignored decades long preservation measures taken along County Road 51. The Town of Southampton seeks to have PSEG Long Island remove the poles and bury the lines underground.
County Road 51 runs ten miles from East Moriches to Riverside and has the East End’s highest elevations with breath taking vistas of the North Fork. This stretch is home to Long Island’s largest White Cedar Swamp and sits on the edge of the core 50 thousand acres of preserved Pinelands.
In the 1990’s, an 18-mile line was buried from Riverhead to Shinnecock Hills. It ran South on CR 51 to South on Speonk Road to East on Sunrise Highway. The suit cites there is precedence to bury the lines.
PSEG LI started erecting the poles through Brookhaven and Southampton Towns this Spring. But the lawsuit contends that LIPA’s environmental review failed to comply with SEQRA in that it failed to take a hard look and consider alternatives to erecting the 79-foot-tall poles such as undergrounding. It also states the public was not adequately notified and there was no community input in the planning process.
“The Community must be permitted to voice concerns about a project as large as this,” says Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “The only solution to this issue is to bury the lines!”