Supervisor Seeks Governor's Help To Stop 'Travesty' Utility Poles

A public outcry has sounded regarding the 61 foot poles, which residents say will mar the landscape; many have asked for the lines to be buried.

Calling the situation a "travesty," East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has called upon New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo for help to put the brakes on a plan that would site 61-foot tall transmission poles in residential neighborhoods.

According to Cantwell, PSEG is constructing a six-mile-long overhead transmission line built to 33 kilovolt standards, that would replace existing 29 to 38 foot utility poles with others up to 61 feet tall.

The poles, he said, are slated to go up in residential areas and in front of historic homes and across scenic farm vistas.

The project, Cantwell said, is in direct contradiction to the Town of East Hampton's comprehensive plan and the state's approved and locally designated Scenic Areas of Statewide Significance.

According to Cantwell, the Long Island Power Authority prepared an environmental assessment for the transmission line project, which runs from East Hampton to Amagansett, declared lead agency status, and filed  a negative declaration as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act in October.

"There was no public review of these documents or public participation in the process," the supervisor said.

Cantwell said he was advised that the town and residents were "legally time barred from appealing" under SEQRA. 

But, he said, "the lack of public participation and consideration of this project would cause the Town of East Hampton to consider legal remedies, if not for the statute of limitations governing SEQRA claims."

The governor's "immediate intervention" was requested, since the project is currently under construction. 

"This project should be built underground where the electric power serving our citizens will have the highest resiliency, and federal funding from Superstorm Sandy in the hands of New York State should be used to accomplish this."

In recent weeks, residents have raised their voices in protest, asking that the lines be buried. 

PSEG media reps did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Rebecca Singer February 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Thank goodness that Larry Cantwell has stepped up for the Town of East Hampton. The Governor needs to do his part and everyone needs to write to Governor Cuomo in support of Larry's request.
amagansett voter February 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Why not use some of CPF to help with cost...its charter was to maintain open speaces, etc...
Eamonn February 18, 2014 at 06:29 PM
Wasn't Larry directly involved in the meetings and negotiations regarding this project while Village Administrator? Why the sudden posturing?
David Saskas February 18, 2014 at 07:33 PM
They are structures that are higher than 32 feet. Why didn't they need a variance?
Duckbornandraised February 18, 2014 at 08:02 PM
To be, or not be, but why Sandy funds? Was the area effected? Or is that federal fund turning into an all-purpose slush fund for municipalities?
Conservative Underground February 19, 2014 at 06:47 AM
EH/AMAG February 19, 2014 at 07:39 AM
If you want to see the "Travesty"; just drive up Old Stone Hwy just behind the LIRR Station > looks like a prison with the barbwire chain link fence* > large painted numbers on the polls all along the road. Hideous! *Hope that Cantwell can get them to hide behind some tall evergreens.
Jan Lehre February 19, 2014 at 05:35 PM
Why all the focus on the one six-mile stretch of poles? There are taller, wider and unsightly poles cropping up all over the village and town. There needs to be a comprehensive multi-year plan to look at power needs and ways it is transported.
George Fontanals February 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM
I do not quite understand all this criticism to what is essentially a major upgrade that should help immensely with power outages during storms. Taller stronger poles get the lines further from falling branches. I would be all for underground lines but that seems far away and in addition every homeowner would have to get on board burying lines from the main to each individual home. Or everyone could get a nice noisy generator. My neighbor has one and it goes on every time the power goes down despite the fact that the owner is nowhere to be seen.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. February 20, 2014 at 01:32 PM
Though the neighbor may be out of site the system is designed to prevent damage. Frozen pipes etc……. I believe it is their right to protect their home. On another note , David Saskas asked a very legitimate question. 60 feet tall with no variance? I would love to hear an explanation.
Conservative Underground February 20, 2014 at 02:30 PM
For some reason my Spidy sense is all tingly and I keep hearing the words "litigation", "tax increase" and "bend over".
Conservative Underground February 21, 2014 at 06:32 AM
Exactly how many people are part of this "huge outcry" against this "travesty"? 10? 20? 30? How many?
Eamonn February 26, 2014 at 04:41 PM
It's fun to take a shot at the prior Supervisor about this, but seriously - wasn't Larry a direct participant and negotiator at the planning meetings with LIPA and later PSEG regarding the Village portion of this project? Wasn't a building permit issued by the Village for this work? Why didn't he or any Village official express any concern or outrage then? Seems disingenuous to feign ignorance about it all now that it has become a political problem. This didn't happen in a vacuum !


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