Sunday, March 21, 2010

Petition to Public Service Commission

copy of email received today:

March 22, 2010

Madam Secretary [of NYPSC],

I, Amy M Kupferberg residing at 481 Ridge Road, Hartsdale Ny 10530, citizen of the United States of America, seek to petition the New York State Public Service Commission for a rehearing of Case 04-E-0822 issued and effective June 20, 2005.

The residents of Westchester County have felt the full affects of THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION’S “ENHANCED TRANSMISSION RIGHT OF WAY MANAGEMENT PRACTICE” and Con Edison's seemingly arbitrary and intermittent interpretation of their own Vegetation Management Plan. Although it is too late for the residents of my extended community, I ask that a stop order be placed on any further implementation of Con Edison’s clear cutting activities throughout the state.

These are the environmental impacts and the affects of the clear cutting behind my house.

*SCORCHED ECOSYSTEM
Loss of woodlands and natural habitat. Within the boundaries of my property, I was able to count 350 stumps behind my home. .A wide variety of species and sizes. The only tree that remains, fell onto state property and could not be removed.

*EROSION
Each spring as the ground warms and the ice melts a huge volume of water moves through our property and will no doubt cause flooding on the Sprain Brook Parkway behind my home.

*NOISE POLLUTION
The noise from the Spain Brook Parkway is so intrusive, I wear ear plugs at night. There is only one room in our house that one cannot hear the din of traffic through the Andersen double paned windows. Forget about opening the windows and enjoying fresh air!
Over the past few days, as the weather warmed and the Motorcycles began to take the roadways, the jetting noise is maddening.
The constant din can now be heard throughout the neighboring streets, as far as, the water tower on Birchwood Lane@Paret Lane, Hartsdale NY 10530.

*VISUAL POLLUTION
I have an almost unobstructed view of the 93,000.00 cars that pass by a day on the Sprain Brooke Parkway. As well as, 12 Transmission Towers from over 30 windows in my home. At night the headlights from the thousands of cars that pass behind my house provide a light show that can only be avoided by wearing a blindfold or installing window treatments and living in a fortress in lock down mode.

*PROPERTY DAMAGE
An increase of wind has also been significant because the natural wind barrier was clear cut. Insulation siding and roof shingles from my neighbors house have blown off their home and ended up in my yard. As well, 3 50 foot Hemlock trees have uprooted and fell onto my property. Significant tree loss and damage after the last two storms.12 trees fell between the two storms.

*QUALITY OF LIFE
As you can imagine, I have a huge amount of yard work ahead of me. We have always maintained this property ourselves. I go out everyday for 4 hours, cutting the felled trees and hauling the debris to the curb. Spending anytime outside on this 3.5 acre property that my family has owned for fifty years is a cruel reminder of the peace and quiet I once treasured and is now forever lost. I am either filled with rage or deep sadness. The only joy comes from the sounds of the dramatic influx of birds and other critters that have migrated onto our property now that their habitat has been removed.

*INCREASE IN ENERGY COSTS
Without the natural wind barrier that used to encircle and insulate our home, we will have a increase in energy costs during the winter months. BTW: here are my Con Ed bills for the last three months....Nov- $764.30,Dec-$1067.50, JAN $1019.58. Keep in mind only two heat zones activated and temperature set between 61-63 degrees. ONE PERSON LIVES IN THIS HOUSE. As well, now that the house can no longer be enjoyed with open windows and natural ventilation, we are considering
putting in central air to cool the house in summer to make it more attractive to buyers.

*PROPERTY VALUES-30%
My father passed away 10 years ago, and our house is for sale. As difficult as it may have been to sell in this market, the recent clear cutting behind my home makes it almost impossible. Rather than being viewed as a beautiful country estate, this house is now described as "that big house that sits on the parkway."

I am sure that Con Ed and perhaps some State officials are believing that there would have been a greater number of outages had Con Ed not initiated their Vegetative Management Plan prior to our most recent storms. That may be more accurate with respect to distribution lines rather than transmission wires on the ROW. Moreover, in our immediate neighborhood where the clear cutting took place on the Catskill ROW and our natural wind barrier was removed, property owners took the brunt of the damage. As well, we were one of the last areas to have power restored.

My property suffered significant tree loss over the past two storms. 12 trees fell, some along the back wall where the trees had been topped and weakened by Con Edison’s “trimming” in prior years and subsequently died, but most fell away from the ROW because they could not withstand the full impact of the 90 mile an hour winds. Unfortunately for us 3/4 of the property boarders the ROW, so the wind force comes from all directions at once. Our fabulous Cherry tree that reigned in the field exploded into three parts. These trees matured according to the environment in which they grew, now that a significant part of the environment has been scorched, we are sitting ducks waiting for disaster.

In the aftermath of the storms, now is the perfect time to reevaluate where resources and attention should be paid. Perhaps new thought and careful analysis could be conducted to learn where outages happen the most and how to better respond to those emergencies.

My real property rights have been violated, and I appeal to the New York State Public Service Commission to protect my property and civil rights by rehearing Case 04-E-0822. I further ask that the New York Public Service Commission encourage an open hearing in which a civil discourse of unrepressed voices of the Residents of Westchester County and beyond be heard and considered when rehearing Case 04-E-0822. And finally, I ask that you support the Westchester County Board of Legislators RESOLUTION NO. 26 OF 2010 and other such Resolutions that have and will be presented in the future to the New York State Public Service Commission regarding Vegetation. Management.

I will be present at the meeting on March 25th and would take any opportunity to speak to the Commission directly or any other effort to encourage the Public Service Commission to cease implementation of Con Edison unnecessary clear cutting of our woodlands.

Most Respectfully,

Amy M Kupferberg
Hartsdale NY 10530

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