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Aug 20, 2019 9:26 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Village Anticipates Disruption With Hither Hills Wind Farm Cable Landing

Francis Bock, Jennifer Garvey and Ken Bowes.    VIRGINIA GARRISON
Aug 21, 2019 11:39 AM

Joining a swelling wave of resistance in both Amagansett and Montauk, East Hampton Village Board members agreed on Friday that the village should sign up as an “intervenor,” hoping to have a say in deciding the fate of an alternate plan to use Hither Hills as a landing site for the South Fork Wind Farm cable.

“Ultimately, even if you work offseason, the amount of disruption coming up Montauk Highway — there’s no comparison to what it would be coming in off Beach Lane,” said board member Barbara Borsack during a presentation that focused on how a landing at Hither Hills State Park, as opposed to Wainscott Beach, would more severely affect residents of East Hampton Village.

“I can’t imagine why everybody in East Hampton would have to be disrupted who uses Montauk Highway every day, as opposed to coming in off Beach Lane, which would be minor for most people in the town,” Ms. Borsack said.

Filing for intervenor status would entitle the village to be treated as a stakeholder during the state review process, whose next step will be to hear intervenor testimony on November 1, according to Ms. Garvey. If a decision has to be arbitrated instead of settled, she said it may not arrive until sometime next summer.

Ken Bowes, vice president of siting and permitting for Eversource, Ørsted’s partner in the wind farm project, confirmed that the cable would travel about 12 miles underground if it ran from Hither Hills in Montauk, as opposed to about four miles from Beach Lane in Wainscott to a substation on Cove Hollow Road just west of East Hampton Village. In the village, the cable would be run two-plus miles under Montauk Highway near Cross Highway to Main Street to Buell Lane to Route 114 to Cove Hollow Road.

East of Amagansett, whose Main Street also would be affected, the work might be confined to the bike lane — which, “at the end, would probably be left better than it is today” — Mr. Bowes said, but most likely in the downtown sections of the route, he said, “you’re into the parking areas.”

David Collins, superintendent of public works, said the village has “a lot of old infrastructure dating back almost 100 years,” some of it unmarked or abandoned, that would make integrating the electricity cable underground problematic.

“The impact on the community is going to be huge for any type of project like this,” he said, suggesting that the cable — if it does land at Hither Hills — instead follow the Long Island Rail Road tracks all the way west from Amagansett.

Mr. Bowes said that idea is still being evaluated, but 
that the railroad tracks’ elevation, the number of road crossings and the proximity to wetlands all were potential obstacles.

A cable landing at Beach Lane in Wainscott remains the project developers’ first choice, but the decision ultimately will be made by the New York State Public Service Commission, Jennifer Garvey, Ørsted’s Long Island development manager, told Ms. Borsack at the meeting.

Because Beach Lane has been the developers’ first choice, Wainscotters have been many steps ahead of residents of East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk in resisting having the cable land in or run through their community.

Francis Bock, clerk of the East Hampton Town Trustees, from which the wind farm developers are seeking permission to come ashore under the Wainscott beach, told the board he’d heard there might be a third option in play — which Mr. Bowes suggested would most likely be some variation of one of the two routes already under consideration.

“Obviously, the human disruption, community impact, is a clear differentiator between the two routes,” Mr. Bowes told Village Board members.

“Join the state process,” he said of the state’s Article 7 review, calling it “the best place to get your views heard.” Mr. Bock said much the same thing, noting that the Trustees have already signed up as an intervenor.

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Suffer a little for the greater good of all.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Aug 20, 19 1:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
What was the cable laid from amagansett to montauk for??? This can not be used, was other conduit put in the ground at that same time??? Sounds like a lot of smoke being blown???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 20, 19 1:20 PM
What was the cable laid from amagansett to montauk for??? This can not be used, was other conduit put in the ground at that same time??? Sounds like a lot of smoke being blown???
Has EHT hired a consultant of it's own??????
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 20, 19 1:21 PM