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Apr 22, 2014 2:07 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Appeals Court Denies PSEG's Restraining Order, Expedites Hearing For Preliminary Injunction

Apr 22, 2014 3:34 PM

A state court denied PSEG Long Island’s appeal of its effort to obtain a temporary restraining order against East Hampton Town on Monday afternoon, according to East Hampton Town Attorney Elizabeth Vail.

The State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division did, however, grant PSEG an expedited hearing to consider the utility company’s filing for a permanent injunction against the town.

As of now, East Hampton Town’s stop-work order, which prompted the legal battle between the utility company and the town, is still in effect.

The stop-work order was issued in early April at PSEG’s Amagansett substation, the end-point for a 23/33 kV transmission line, which is being installed throughout the town and the village on more than 260 new utility poles. The action was taken after the town discovered that the utility company did not have site plan approval or a building permit for the substation, both of which are necessary to perform any construction in the town, according to Mr. Cantwell.

PSEG has countered that the project in East Hampton Town and Village is a necessary upgrade in order to provide “reliable” and “redundant” electric to residents, especially for this coming summer when the population in the area tends to spike. The company maintains that, as a utility, it is not subject to town and village oversight of such projects.

PSEG attempted to counter the stop-work order by filing for a temporary restraining order in addition to the permanent injunction, in an effort to continue work and complete the project by June 1. The temporary restraining order was denied by the State Supreme Court in Riverhead on April 14. If the restraining order had been approved, it would have given the utility company the ability to immediately continue working while the permanent injunction was being decided.

Now, because the Appellate Court has expedited the process for determining whether a permanent injunction should be granted, East Hampton Town must submit its opposition papers by this Friday.

“We are pleased that the Appellate Division senses our urgency on this issue by requiring the town to submit reply papers by Friday ... for this much-needed reliability project that impacts all of the Town of East Hampton. We remain confident that we will prevail in court and be able to return to work to complete this project before June 1, 2014,” PSEG’s director of communications, Jeffrey Weir, said in a statement.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said he could not comment on the issue, given the pending litigation.

Many of the town and village’s residents strongly oppose the project, claiming in part that the installation of the new telephone poles and the transmission line pose serious health and safety hazards, and are often 20 feet from bedroom windows. Residents as well as local and state officials have demanded PSEG bury the transmission line and modify the poles, suggesting the cost be split between PSEG and the town. The utility company said it will bury the transmission line, which will cost roughly $30 million, but refuses to absorb the cost, telling the town it is responsible for footing the bill.

Long Island Businesses For Responsible Energy Inc., a local nonprofit, also is in the process of taking legal action against the utility company, soliciting those who live within 110 feet of the utility poles to come forward as plaintiffs for a potential lawsuit.

The group plans to meet with its legal counsel, Irving Like and Professor Leon Friedman, and any resident interested in participating at the Town Hall board conference room this Saturday, at 1 p.m.

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Just took in the latest episode of "Cosmos", and it made what I know so well from History pretty concrete. When this country was founded, the People controlled the corporations, and corporations were dissolved if they caused any public harm. There is a reason why "conservatives" rail against Professor Tyson along with those like him, and it has more to do with money than it does with "faith". I'm rather confident "We" will come to "discover" that magnetic fields, bisphenol-A, and the petrochemical ...more
Apr 22, 14 11:09 PM appended by Mr. Z
“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 22, 14 11:09 PM
"Many of the town and village’s residents strongly oppose the project"
Um, I don't know where the "journalists" at 27 east hot that idea but you might want to check on that. Most of the people I have spoken too only care about one thing; the power staying on and not seeing their taxes/rates going any more. Only a tiny minority, mostly in the Village, are crying like spoiled brats.
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Apr 23, 14 9:19 AM
Libfre, Long Island Businesses For Responsible Energy , hired an expert to test soil samples from the East Hampton utility poles and they found high levels of toxic chemicals in the samples from 2 of 3 of the poles. The governor's office and health dept's have been notified. I guess you're lucky that you live near so many spoiled brats who actually care about their town's health and safety. The chemical pentachlorophenol, that is being used on on the poles as a preservative is banned in 26 countries ...more
By RebeccaSinger (2), New York, New York on Apr 24, 14 9:46 AM
The fact that the local Govt's signed off on this project in the first place - is going to result in one of two things - the poles will stay, or the taxpayers will have to pay to bury them......very simple, the rest is political shenanigans and public relations nonsense. Politicians will be the big winners here, 1. great photo ops 2. "we are on your side" speech's and 3. opportunities to sponsor resolutions or legislation to appease the angry public.
By harrisw (27), sh on Apr 24, 14 11:26 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By harrisw (27), sh on Apr 24, 14 11:27 AM