Richard DeRose of Wainscott walks his dog at the town beach on Beach Lane in Wainscott, likely site of a cable landing for the South Fork Wind Farm. Dec. 5 Credit: Newsday/Mark Harrington
Thanks for your Dec. 9 news story on the South Fork offshore wind project [“Negotiations over cable”] about talks regarding the landing site of an electrical cable. As a former commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, I’m no stranger to local opposition to projects like this. But the opposition by Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott to the cable landing is “not in my backyard” on steroids. I encourage this small group of owners of second homes to reconsider.
The cable landing in Wainscott is preferred because it is the least environmentally disruptive and would affect the fewest people for the shortest period. Unfortunately, despite the need to rapidly move away from fossil fuels, the citizens group is taking an irrational “anyplace but here” attitude. The temporary inconvenience from burying the cable would be minimal, and would occur in the offseason, when most owners of second homes are not around.
Connecting this offshore energy to the Long Island grid is now being reviewed by several state agencies. I believe this time-tested process, along with decisions by local officials, will produce a project that is good for the South Fork, Long Island and the state. I urge citizens of Wainscott to support it. After all, coastal property owners have the most to lose if New York does not lead the way in combating climate change.
Joe Martens, East Hampton
Editor’s note: The writer is director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, a coalition of organizations supporting wind power.
Submitted by Alice Tepper Marlin. (letter to the editor of the EH Star, July 2019)
The wind farm proposed to be sited out of sight, 35 miles off our shores, can make a significant contribution to slowing the climate change that so threatens our beautiful seaside community and all life on our precious, unique planet. It is crucial to our town commitment to be powered 100% by renewables by 2030.
To my consternation, opposition is being skillfully fomented by a few individuals who, for various self-interested reasons, loudly promote misinformation and even disinformation about the project and the company behind it, sowing unwarranted fear and distrust.
The brouhaha is over the onshore route of the transmission line carrying the wind-generated electricity from the turbines to the East Hampton substation. The entire line will be under ground. I have seen the equivalent on Block Island, and it is hardly noticeable. All you can see are occasional manhole covers.
Yes, there would be a few months of wintertime construction for installation, but the route from Wainscott is only four miles long and half of it is in the railroad corridor. So this disruption is in no way a big deal. Just a few months ago, ten miles of water main were installed in Wainscott, and not a peep was heard to challenge it.
What about Orsted? Orsted is a Danish renewable energy company and a global leader in offshore wind. Its new partner, Eversource, is a premier transmission builder with 100 years of experience providing energy in the Northeast. Orsted supplies over 25% of the world’s wind energy capacity. It has experience successfully building thousands of offshore turbines in Europe. Fishermen in England, The Netherlands, and France report positively, they say that the fish love these artificial reefs. If these were oil rigs, there would be not only climate damage but also occasional spills killing thousands of marine animals. What harm can we even imagine from a wind spill? In 2018, Orsted won aN award for the most socially responsible companies in the world.
Independent of East Hampton’s decisions, there will be two dozen government reviews before construction can begin. These will provide detailed environmental and other reviews at a technical level above and beyond what one might reasonably expect at the local level. Numerous top environmental groups are participating in the process. In addition, East Hampton has the right to submit all our questions and concerns in these processes. The town Board has already filed a submission.
The South Fork Wind Farm will be able to generate enough power for 70,000 South fork homes.
Our region has the fastest growth rate for electricity use on Long Island. Forecasts indicate that that all the electricity generated by the South Fork wind farm will be required in our local region But even if that proves not to be the case, what portion serves homes and businesses here and what portion serves homes elsewhere matters not a bit to its lessening of global warming and of the acidification of our waters. Acidification from burning fossil fuels has already been a factor in driving the lobsters north and harms all life in the ocean.
We as citizens have a duty not only to our local community but also to the nation.
Let’s think globally and act locally: let our Trustees and Board members know that you want to be counted and will welcome the wind farm.
Alice Tepper Marlin
First there is this report “Labor, Environmental Organizations, and Long Island Residents Voice Strong Support for Critical Offshore Wind Development” released by the Sierra Club.
…and then this very poignant personal letter submitted at the PSC hearing on June 11th in East Hampton:
June 11, 2019
My name is Michael Hansen. I live in Wainscott.
Today is my wedding anniversary.
But I am here today instead… (my wife understands) because I am acutely aware that we are in a climate crisis. And it’s happening right now. It’s happening on Long Island. It’s happening in the Township of East Hampton.
1. The docks at Shelter Island need to be raised because of a rising sea level.
2. We are paying to shore up the infrastructure in Montauk because today’s “typical nor’easter,” is not typical at all.
But the opposition to wind power on the East End wants you to know, and they have said it many times, that they are, “for renewable energy, they are for solar power, they are for wind power… but not now, it’s too expensive, somewhere else, not in my backyard.”
We are paying for climate change right now. Our tax dollars are going to those docks in Montauk. Today.
We are in a climate crisis and I am here today to speak for my children. My daughter is eight and my son is six.
My family has been on the East End for over three hundred years—as I am sure many of the families in this room have been—and my family and yours will continue to live here. And a wind farm, that is part of a comprehensive plan, is key to our children’s future.
A final word on Wainscott. The cable landing should be there. It will be least disruptive to East Hampton Town. And, ya know, Wainscott is tough. We can take it. We endured Suffolk County Water digging up our roads to provide us with clean water.
We can endure one lane of digging for clean energy.
Submit a Comment to Show Your Support for the South Fork Wind Farm!
As the per the Sierra Club, the first offshore wind project in New York is in jeopardy — act today to make sure we build the clean renewable, energy we need to meet New York’s bold climate commitments.
New York has made bold climate commitments to power our state with 100% clean, renewable energy by 2040. The South Fork Wind Farm is a critical clean, renewable energy project that will help us meet this goal, but a few vocal opponents are trying to slow down renewable energy and climate progress.
You can play a role. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is collecting public comments. Let Governor Cuomo and the PSC know we must get this first offshore wind project built to lay the groundwork for future wind projects and to meet our bold climate and clean energy goals.
STATE OF NEW YORK PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
CASE 18-T-0604 -Application of Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Construction of Approximately 3.5 Miles of Submarine Export Cable from the New York State Territorial Waters Boundary to the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County and Approximately 4.1 Miles of Terrestrial Export Cable from the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton to an Interconnection Facility with an Interconnection Cable Connecting to the Existing East Hampton Substation in the Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that public comment is sought on a request by Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC, (Deepwater) for authorization to build and operate an electric transmission line. If granted, Deepwater would be authorized to build an approximately 3.5 mile submarine export cable from the New York State Territorial Waters boundary to the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County and approximately 4.1 miles of 138 kV terrestrial export cable from the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton to an interconnection facility with an interconnection cable to an existing East Hampton Substation (the Project). The Project would connect the proposed South Fork Wind Farm, located in federal jurisdictional waters on the Outer Continental Shelf, to the existing mainland electric grid in the Town of Easthampton.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that opportunities for public information and comment regarding Deepwater’s request will be provided as follows:
Date: June 11, 2019
Location: East Hampton Firehouse
1 Cedar St
East Hampton, NY 11937
Afternoon: Information Forum – 2:00 PM
Public Statement Hearing – 3:00 PM
Evening: Information Forum – 6:00 p.m.
Public Statement Hearing – 7:00 p.m.
During the scheduled informational forums, maps of the proposed route will be available to review, New York State Department of Public Service Staff representatives will give a short presentation on the review process in this case, and Deepwater representatives will be available to answer questions about its proposal. The public is welcome to stop in at any time during the informal informational forums to review information and ask questions.
Each informational forum will be followed by a public statement hearing where all those wishing to comment on Deepwater’s request will have an opportunity to make a statement on the record before an Administrative Law Judge. It is not necessary to make an appointment in advance, or present written material to speak at the hearing. Persons will be called to speak after completing a request card. Each public statement hearing will be held open for at least one-half hour and, where practicable, will be kept open until everyone wishing to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements have been made. A verbatim transcript of each hearing will be made for inclusion in the record of this proceeding.
Persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations should call the Department of Public Service’s Human Resources Management Office at (518) 474-2520 as soon as possible. TDD users may request a sign language interpreter by placing a call through the New York Relay Service at 711. Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English are encouraged to call the Commission at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this notice.
Other Ways to Comment
For those who cannot attend or prefer not to speak at a public statement hearing, there are several other ways to comment about this case to the Commission. Comments should refer to “Case 18-T-0604 – Deepwater.”
Internet or Mail: Go to www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” search using case number “18-T-0604” and then click the “Post Comments” button at the top of the page; or send comments to the Secretary for the Commission email@example.com. Alternatively, comments may be mailed or delivered to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.
Toll-Free Opinion Line: You may call the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers, 24 hours a day. These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the Commission.
Although comments submitted via these alternate means will be accepted throughout the pendency of this proceeding, they are requested by July 12, 2019. Written comments received by the Department will become part of the record considered by the Commission. Written comments may be viewed online (go to www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” search using the case number and then click on the “Public Comments” tab). Many libraries offer free Internet access. The application may be viewed at www.dps.ny.gov (search using the case number) or at the East Hampton Library (East Hampton), the Hampton Library Central Library (Bridgehampton), the Amagansett Free Library Central Library (Amagansett) or the Springs Library (East Hampton).
KATHLEEN H. BURGESS