More than 1,000 sign petition and letter protests arbitrary Town Board decisions

We wrote the Town Board on Dec. 11, 2018, delivering the petition signed by more than 1,000 Wainscott community members

Dear Peter, Sylvia, Jeff, Kathee, and David,

The Town Board should revisit its decision of its intent to grant Deepwater Wind South Fork LLC an easement to land its high-power electric cables in Wainscott. Since July when the Board narrowly approved (3-2) a motion of your intent to grant an easement at Beach Lane, a fuller picture emerged of the multiple negative impacts on the hamlet.

Barely five weeks after its initial mid-September filing with the New York State Public Service Commission, Deepwater revealed plans with a greater adverse impact on Wainscott than was known by the Town Board members when you voted. For example, Deepwater more than doubled all the infrastructure to be built throughout the hamlet. Indeed, the resolution itself references an amount of volts that has been materially exceeded.

The need to revisit the Wainscottt decision in light of these adverse developments is particularly compelling because Deepwater has written repeatedly that Hither Hills is a viable landing site for its wind farm. It wrote, for example, to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, “After engineering and environmental analysis as well as discussion with municipal and state agencies, the Beach Lane and Hither Hills landing sites were identified as the two viable landing sites for the [South Fork Export Cable] SFEC.”1 It wrote to the N.Y. Public Service Commission, “If the Applicant is unable to obtain the necessary property rights for the Beach Lane landing site, Hither Hills landing site presents a viable alternative landing site, with minimal environmental and historical property impact located on New York State-owned property.”2

Our Wainscott community has now overwhelmingly rejected any consideration of a
Beach Lane landfall for any-size project. Since our initial letter to you in September,
three times more community members – we now number more than 1,000 with our
numbers growing daily – have signed the petition rejecting that route [Exhibits]. While we are very supportive of alternative energy sources (e.g., wind, solar) and conservation, extra-high power lines and related infrastructure on land and in the water will forever alter an already fragile, eroding beach as well as disproportionately impact our small hamlet. We have shown how any landfall at Beach Lane would have overwhelming negative direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on recreation and tourism, our economy, and our environment.3 The depressing impact on land values would also impact the property tax base and transfer taxes. Ten days ago (Dec. 1, 2018), the Town-appointed Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee (WCAC) voted overwhelmingly (10-2) against a Beach Lane landing option. We saw that when this vote was subsequently raised with the Town Board last week, it was met with laughter from the Town Board councilmembers. This response was deeply disturbing to the Wainscott residents whose
interests you purport to represent. We deserve better.

Deepwater has repeatedly misled you, the Town Trustees, Wainscott, and broader East End public. Your November 19 letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) reflects your own uncertainty as to the scope and breadth (long into this whole process): The Town had to request the Federal agency clarify with your partner several basic issues, including project goals, project size and cumulative impacts. We call on you to immediately reconsider the Town Board’s intent to grant Deepwater an easement to Beach Lane and Wainscott now that you have this fuller fact base fromDeepwater and the overwhelming rejection by the hamlet.

See full letter here.