Deepwater tries to pull a fast one and start drilling early … and members of the Town Board want to abet them

The implications of Deepwater and the Town Board’s lack of transparency and attention to the interests of Wainscott hamlet residents is now imminent. At a Town Board working session on January 15, 2019, Deepwater revealed to the public for the first time that they planned to start exploratory work in Wainscott immediately by:

  • Drilling nearly 194 pits throughout Wainscott and
  • Boring two one-hundred-foot holes using heavy machinery

along Beach Lane, Wainscott Main Street, Sayres Path, Wainscott Stone Road, and Wainscott Northwest Road. Consistent with its deceptive pattern of operations and clear contempt for East Hampton residents, Deepwater made no mention of any of this just 10 days earlier when they spent three hours at the heavily attended Wainscott community meeting on January 5 to (unsuccessfully) defend its overall project. Not one word.

The Town Board itself had been sitting on Deepwater’s request to start its work since at least December 19, 2018, without informing the public. Furthermore, at that January 15 Working Session, several members of the Town Board appeared ready to summarily approve Deepwater’s unvetted drilling plans as soon as it could be put on a meeting agenda – despite no details, no notice, no explanation, no impact evaluation, no input from the community … and no approval from the New York State Public Service Commission. (Remember, Deepwater’s application has not even been deemed complete, let alone approved.) We also sent a letter today (read here) that lays out major questions about how the bare majority on the Town Board has conducted itself and if their actions have been consistent with their obligations and duties. Indeed, we express our serious reservations as to the lack of information the Town Board possessed before making decisions as to acceding to Deepwater’s contention that Wainscott Beach is the best available landing site among the 70 miles of access points.