There was undoubtedly a need to stabilize Montauk’s electrical grid, as the site that historically housed the hamlet’s electrical substation on Industrial Road was located in the flood plain. Superstorm Sandy was a painful remainder that a more suitable long-term location was needed, and as a result, PSEG/LIPA invested a significant amount of time and resources to begin relocating Montauk’s electrical substation to a new site on the commercially-zoned N Shore Road. PSEG/LIPA engineers analyzed the N Shore Road site and determined this location was an adequate solution for, at least, the next forty years, taking into careful consideration projections for critical risks such as flooding and rising sea levels. Construction of the new electrical substation on the N Shore Road site began some time ago and the Town of East Hampton Planning Board recently approved the adjacent property to store the Montauk grid battery facility. With construction on the N Shore Road electrical substation well underway, PSEG/LIPA and the Town of East Hampton quietly began to consider an alternative location in a residentally-zoned area that was much larger, consisting of 4 parcels of land that are approximately 6.7 acres (66 & 68 Fairmont Avenue, 20 & 22 Fenwick Place). The 6.7 acre plot of land, which is privately-owned, is located directly between the Montauk Playhouse and Montauk’s Water Recharge Overlay, and on one of the hamlet’s most prominent throughways, highly visible to residents and visitors alike. The land that PSEG/LIPA is now considering to purchase is the size of more than 4 football fields combined and was previously deemed environmentally sensitive by the Town of East Hampton Planning Board, due to its proximity to critical water wells, archealogical significance, and visual prominence. Neither PSEG/LIPA nor the Town of East Hampton have directly provided any information to the people of Montauk about the possibility of constructing a massive electrical substation on Fairmont Avenue and Fenwick Place. Many questions remain unanswered. What has prompted PSEG/LIPA to consider an alternative and significantly larger plot of land for an electrical substation when the N Shore Road site that is currently being constructed will already have capacity that exceeds Montauk’s needs?
Is PSEG/LIPA’s consideration of this alternative site to benefit and protect the people of Montauk or is it driven by some other motive? Is it possible that PSEG/LIPA intend to turn Montauk into an electrical distribution center for its offshore wind power? Why is the Town of East Hampton offering no support, assistance, or protection to the Montauk community? PSEG/LIPA have not yet purchased the 6.7 acre plot of land. If PSEG/LIPA proceeds with the purchase, there will be no way to stop the construction of a massive electrical substation. Now is the time for the citizens of Montauk to take action and demand a better solution.
~ Shaun & Izabella de Jesus
Please find the link to the petition and contact information below: