Legislators Support Town Suit Against LIPA, PSEG

Bridget Fleming.
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming.

On June 5, the Suffolk County Legislature adopted an introductory resolution directing the Suffolk County Attorney to file a amicus curiae brief on behalf of county residents in Brookhaven and Southampton towns, supporting the towns in a lawsuit against LIPA and PSEG Long Island. Sponsored by Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and co-sponsored by Al Krupski, the legislation aims to support residents who the towns allege are threatened by massive steel utility poles constructed along Montauk Highway.

The lawsuit, filed by the towns of Brookhaven and Southampton, alleges residents face public health, safety and environmental impacts associated with PSEG replacing existing wood utility poles with steel poles more than 90 feet high. Additional steel poles, of similar height, were also erected along Montauk Highway. The lawsuit also challenges the validity of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) determination made by LIPA in connection with the project and calls for a more rigorous environmental review.

“The massive steel utility poles along Montauk Highway pose a serious health risk to motorists and create an unsafe burden upon the community,” said Legislator Fleming. “The residents clearly were not considered and now must live with the consequences. We need to make sure that the Towns are supported in their litigation and that the utility is held responsible for the impact their poles are having on the community. These major infrastructure projects need to be implemented in a way that is both safe for our residents and serving our community’s interest. Right now, the massive steel utility poles do neither of those things.”

“There should be communication between the partners in every community, between the government, utilities, and the community.  This is a case of lack of communication and transparency, we need to do much better,” said Legislator Krupski.

The case is presently pending on appeal before the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department.