East End residents push back against LIPA power transmission line planned for delicate ecosystem

A portion of this ecosystem has been preserved on the South Fork of the East End, called the Long Pond Greenbelt.

News 12 Staff

Sep 28, 2022, 9:58 PM

Updated 664 days ago

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Some East End residents want the Long Island Power Authority to reconsider its plan of placing a power transmission line at a delicate ecosystem.
About 21,000 years ago, the glaciers left behind Long Island's unique geography that includes lakes, streams ponds woods and wetlands.
"This is not just a pretty place to walk. It's ecosystem that needs to be protected," said Dai Dayton, of Friends of the Long Pond Green Belt.
A portion of this ecosystem has been preserved on the South Fork of the East End, called the Long Pond Greenbelt.
Environmentalists and East Enders say the Greenbelt, which is rich in unique plant and animal life, is now under threat.
The Long Island Power Authority is considering a plan to place a power transmission line underneath a portion of the Greenbelt.
LIPA said the transmission lines are desperately needed because the population has increased and more homes are being built.
"More people are living there, they are building bigger homes and so they need more electrical infrastructure, so we have to meet that demand," said Thomas Falcone, who heads up LIPA.
He said this is just one of several plans under consideration.
On Wednesday, LIPA gave the public a chance to weigh in.
Stephen Storch, a Watermill farmer who lives just a few miles from the Greenbelt, expressed his outrage that LIPA would consider going through the preserve. He said instead existing roads and infrastructure should be used.
"Roads are already there. Just go down the highway and send the people with the big houses and too much money their electricity that way," Storch said.
Long Island environmentalist Adrienne Esposito agrees.
"Damaging the environment has a cost, and preserving the environment has a value," she said.
LIPA officials said the plan to go through the preserve would follow an above-ground transmission line already in place and would run just under a mile through the Greenbelt. But those who live there and cherish it said they will lose something that is irreplaceable.
LIPA said it will have a decision on which plan it will use for the transmission line by the end of this year or early next year.


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