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State Endorses Need for Controversial Power Line Project

Utility poles on Port Washington Blvd. Credit: File Photo
Utility poles on Port Washington Blvd. Credit: File Photo

The controversial power line installation project between Great Neck and Port Washington has been endorsed by the state’s Department of Public Service.

“The projects are necessary to ensure reliability of the electric system in each of those areas,” a DPS staff report obtained by Patch stated. Because of the increased demand in summer,  the project “should be completed prior to the summer of 2014,” according to the report. 

"The new poles are designed to withstand a Category III hurricane which increases system reliability," the report stated.  

“We appreciate the Department’s quick response in their review," said Jeff Weir, a spokesman for PSEG-LI. 

"Completing these transmission projects will ensure that our customers have the reliable electric service that they deserve this summer," he added. "We take very seriously the Department’s recommendations on our public outreach process and will continue to engage the community on these major projects.” 

Still, the endorsement "is not a stamp of approval" DPS spokesman James Denn told Newsday.

"A finding of reliability need does not mean that the utility used best practices to develop the solution," he pointed out, adding that DPS is still reviewing “the process, public outreach and other aspects and is keenly aware of the concerns of the community."

number of local leaders asked the state to intervene in the project, including Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck), North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth as well as  Keep the North Shore Beautiful and Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington.

Bosworth commended DPS for getting involved.

“We appreciate the fact that the Department of Public Service became involved in this matter at our request,” she said.  

It is likely the debate will continue.

“While we understand that it is their  assessment that the PSEG-LI Reliability Project is necessary in order to provide dependable electric service to the affected communities, we still have several questions and concerns,” Bosworth said.  

“I look forward to the Department of Public Service’s future communication addressing, among other issues,  PSEG-LI’s lack of public outreach on this project, the potential health risks associated with the chemically-treated poles, and the cost of possibly undergrounding the wires.”

The same DPS report also endorsed a contested cable project in East Hampton.

Tony Patrick May 19, 2014 at 10:53 AM
come november, vote for new politicians. even if its not the party you like. time to replace these idiots with someone else
allen kroft May 22, 2014 at 11:06 PM
ina, There was not enough public outrage in town to convince the local pols to stick their necks out and take on PSEG and Albany. Some people tried to keep the issue alive through a petition and a website (Keepthenorthshorebeautiful.com) and handing out fliers, etc. but there was not a real sustained grass roots activism in town, which would be necessary to halt a project like this. Now it seems that Albany and PSEG will have their way in bringing this pestilence to our community.
Arguendo May 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Every one of "our" local legislators and representatives deserves to be turned out on their calculated slow walk and their pathetic failure to act. East Hampton was far more responsive and activist. And how about "Residents," who were more interested in advancing their Main Street agenda than defeating the PSEG pole campaign, as evidenced by the wording of their self-serving petition.
Arguendo May 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM
EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Twenty East Hampton residents and a business group have sued the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island over a new power line. The suit says the 6-mile overhead transmission line has lowered property value by about $300 million and threatened aquifers with a chemical used to treat poles. Newsday (http://nwsdy.li/1kbBMhp) says the suit seeks $50 million in damages and for emotional distress. The residents and the Long Island Businesses for Responsible Energy also seek an injunction requiring the utilities to remove the poles and bury the transmission lines. PSEG declined to comment on the suit. But the company says it was confident its approach to the project was proper. It says the chemical used to treat the poles is standard "industry practice." http://poststar.com/news/state-and-regional/hampton-residents-sue-utilities-over-power-line/article_8e633bcb-838c-5b43-bd1f-2ab3c6d24ba9.html

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