Montauk Counters Wainscott With Petition Against Deepwater Cable Landing

The five wind turbines of the Block Island Wind Farm, which was built by Deepwater Wind. Capt. Michael Potts photo

Residents groups from Montauk and Wainscott are circulating competing petitions, each seeking to convince state officials that their respective hamlets are the wrong place for the power cable from the South Fork Wind Farm to be connected to land.

The Montauk residents group Montauk United, which has rallied residents to demand a crackdown on raucous partying in the small hamlet and the construction of a PSEG substation on a prominent hillside, has begun circulating a petition that demands the cable not come ashore in Hither Hills State Park.

The group’s founder, Tom Bogdan, says the petition is being mailed and emailed to all of group’s 2,000-person membership list and will be circulated in the hamlet also.

“In my 35 years in Montauk, I have never seen so many people come together on the same side of one issue,” Mr. Bogdan said. “We were just a little late to this because not a lot of attention was being paid to it.”

The Montauk drive comes in response to a petition that has been circulating among residents of Wainscott for several months, also seeking to convince the powers that be that the Wainscott site is a poor choice for the landing site, and it has more than 1,000 signatures.

Wealthy residents, including billionaire businessman Ronald Lauder, have also discussed legal avenues to blocking a Wainscott landing in court.

Beach Lane in Wainscott remains the preferred alternative for Deepwater Wind, admittedly because the four-mile undergounding of the power cable from the landing site to the East Hampton power substation will cost millions less than the more than 11-mile undergounding from the Hither Hills location would.

But Montauk residents and town officials have noted that the Wainscott landing site would disturb just 2 miles of roadways — the rest would follow the LIRR tracks — and take just one off-season to complete when Wainscott’s roads are lightly traveled, whereas the Montauk site would require lane closures and substantial disruptions of Route 27 from Montauk through the downtowns of Amagansett and East Hampton over two winter seasons.