Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Anyone Paying Attention Yet?

The answer appears to be a qualified "yes!" Over the weekend, emails were exchanged which show that the political wheels are starting to grind into motion. However, as noted by both David and MJ's comments (appended below) - the notion of letting Con Ed "get by" with some simple screening plantings (to lessen noise impact) is a travesty. The ecological destruction in the Sprain Road area (which is most likely occurring unreported to date in other locations up and down the path of the high tension lines along the Catskill Aqueduct) is far beyond that - clear cut destruction of acres of functional woodlands. An in-depth analysis of the lost ecosystem services should be undertaken and appropriate restitution requirements be put into place.


- From Paul Feiner -

This will go out tomorrow. I think that a community meeting with state lawmakers and the PSC would be helpful. - PAUL FEINER


To: State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky

Dear ---:

This letter is being written to request that your office set up a meeting with officials at the NYS Public Service Commission and residents of Ridge Road and surrounding streets that have been impacted by the Con Ed clear cutting. Some residents have called this a “crime scene”. Many trees have been cut down – some people feel that the trees that have been cut were not even near the transmission lines and were cut down for no valid reason.

We also would like the state to direct Con Ed to provide the community with some landscaping enhancements and to absorb the costs of noise barriers. The removal of trees has resulted in significant additional noise.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

PAUL FEINER
Cc Nita Lowey
Senator Charles Schumer
Chair NYS Public Service Commission
Residents- Ridge Road



-- From Tom Abinanti --

Paul,

I would be pleased to join you in this effort - even co-sign the letter if you would like.

As you will recall, several years ago I held hearings and drafted county legislation similar to Greenburgh's to control Con Ed tree cutting. I did not pursue it when Con Ed started working with the communities on trimming around feeder lines and when our research showed our jurisdiction questionable in close proximity to high-voltage transmission lines.

However, the latest Con Ed actions may require us to get involved again.

Tom Abinanti

Thomas J. Abinanti
Westchester County Legislator - Dist 12
914-328-9000 Tel/Fax


-- Comment by David Bedell, Sleepy Hollow ECC --

In an ideal world Con Ed would, if it violated the law, be required to restore the forest it has cut down. Ecological restoration is much more difficult and much more expensive than landscaping. Restoration would be both the right thing to do and perhaps the cost would be sufficient to actually change Con Ed's future behavior.

Some references:

http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_divisions/nrg/nrg_rest_prior.html

http://planning.westchestergov.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1492&Itemid=2454

David Bedell


-- Comment by MJ Wilson, Irvington ECB --

This work must be stopped until the environmental impact on all levels can be evaluated and planned for. The valuation of the environmental resources we have already lost is incalcuable. I cannot even imagine how the already damaged areas can be made whole in regard to stormwater retention, wildlife habitat, property values, visual/audio screening, regional visual identity, increased risk of invasive species intrusion into the disturbed areas.

Please act now to help us protect this vulnerable area of our County.

MJ Wilson



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Comment presented before the County Board of Legislators on 11/23/09

On behalf of many concerned County citizens, I ask this legislature to stop ConEd from *any* further tree work within their high tension line corridor. For those of you not yet aware, ConEd has begun aggressive tree clearing along the high tension line corridor in multiple areas along the Catskill Aqueduct within the County. I understand ConEd has a duty to provide unfailing power to their customers, but many knowledgeable people are questioning their practices. The adverse impact of their activity will persist for many years and can not remediated by engineered projects. This work must be stopped until the environmental impact on all levels can be evaluated and planned for. The valuation of the environmental resources we have already lost is incalcuable. I cannot even imagine how the already damaged areas can be made whole in regard to stormwater retention, wildlife habitat, property values, visual/audio screening, regional visual identity and increased risk of invasive species intrusion into the disturbed areas.

Please act now to help us protect this vulnerable area of our County.

Thank you
MJ Wilson