PSEG sues North Hempstead over pole ordinance
PSEG is suing North Hempstead after the town passed legislation requiring warning signs for utility poles treated with a hazardous chemical.
The wooden utility poles were treated with a hazardous chemical known as penta. North Hempstead officials passed legislation requiring PSEG to put signs on the poles to warn residents of the chemical and to advise that people wash their hands if they come into contact with the poles.
PSEG says the poles are registered for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. The utility is now suing to block the 2014 ordinance, saying the sign legislation is an infringement on the company's free speech rights.
"We believe it is an infringement on our First Amendment rights," says PSEG Long Island's Jeff Weir.
Under the town's law, PSEG has to have the signs up by March 1 or face a $500 fine per pole. It's unclear how or if the lawsuit affects that deadline.