A concerted effort by Montauk residents opposed to a new PSEG substation to be built on elevated land on Flamingo Avenue seems to have paid off.
PSEG originally wanted the new substation to be located on Shore Road near Fort Pond Bay, but neighbors complained it would be located in a flood plain. PSEG and the town jointly nixed a suggestion the facility be built at the landfill.
PSEG and LIPA announced last July they were acquiring four lots totaling 6.7 acres on Flamingo Avenue, and that they intended to locate the substation there. In fact, negotiations were in their final stages.
The Macchio family, which owns the property, had agreed to sell, according to published reports. Opposition rose quickly. A petition with 2800 signatures was gathered, and on January 22, a huge crowd showed up to urge the East Hampton Town Board to put a hold on the project.
“This is a really bad location for a substation and there is significant opposition,” said Shaun de Jesus, who lives near the potential site. He and his neighbor were in the forefront of the move to stop the filing to buy the site, which, he said, “was done behind closed doors without soliciting input from anyone.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, at his urging, PSEG-Long Island officials are reconsidering plans for a new substation on Industrial Road.
“This is a positive step and a stark contrast to PSEG’s previous interactions with East Hampton Town,” Van Scoyoc said. “PSEG-Long Island’s direct engagement with the community about the need for a new substation, and potential locations, was well received and appreciated, and we look forward to further engagement to ensure that community concerns and standards are met.”
The ultimate location of the substation, which PSEG has said is needed to meet growing energy demand, has not been determined, but the utility has pledged to continue working with town residents and officials to identify a viable site that will not have a negative impact on the community.