Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sample Letters of Support for Resolution

In order to get support for the enforcement by the PSC of the Clear Cut Moratorium resolution passed by the County BOL (and others), we need to effectively lobby at the state level. This can be done by contacting local state representatives (Senators and Assemblymen) and by contacting the various possible oversight offices within the executive Office of the Governor. Such contacts of import include:

Governor David A. Paterson - 518-474-8390
State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224
Email - via web form - http://161.11.121.121/govemail

Thomas Congdon, Deputy Secretary for Energy - 518-408-2552
Kimberly Harriman, Assistant Secretary for Energy - 518-408-2552
Peter Iwanowicz, Deputy Secretary for the Environment - 518-473-5442

All three can be written to at:
Office of the Secretary to the Governor
State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224

We also need to continue to gather support of our local politicians.

Here, for example, is a letter just written to my village Board of Trustees:

To Mayor Jon Siegel
Cc: Irvington Board of Trustees, Larry Schopfer March 14, 2010

I am writing about the Con Ed's transmission line clearing - so as to keep this issue in the public focus.

As of now, the Transmission Line Clear Cut Moratorium resolution (originally drafted by the GEF LORAX working group) has been passed by Yonkers, Yorktown and the county Board of Legislators. The town of Greenburgh is currently reviewing this resolution and the issue has been placed before the Village Officials Committee (formed by officials from the incorporated villages). I urge you to support the resolution for the greater community good!

It is important to clearly understand what this resolution is or is not about:

Firstly, the resolution in not about making Con Ed's maintenance of our local distribution lines more difficult. These are the power lines atop ubiquitous brown wooden poles which line our streets. In the latest snow and wind storms, power loss was mainly caused by failure of distribution lines due to falling trees and limbs. The solution? Bury the lines underground - or face the loss of our street trees one by one!

The Transmission Line Clear Cut Moratorium resolution is about transmission lines, not distribution lines. These are the high voltage feeds, seen strung along tall metal towers, that carry power from generating sources to regional substations. Con Ed operates such transmission lines in Westchester and Putnam Counties (as well as in NYC). Regional transmission lines have not had significant tree-induced outages for a number of years (since the 2003 Northeast blackout that started in Ohio).

The Moratorium resolution calls for a temporary cessation of indiscriminant clear cutting of trees along the transmission right-of-ways (the land corridors over which the towers run). One has only to view the areas along Sprain Road and Underhill Road in Greenburgh to see the devastating environmental impact of said clear cut activity.

This temporary moratorium excludes any emergency action such as removal of imminent "danger trees" deemed necessary for the safe operations of the lines.

The second part of the Moratorium resolution calls upon the Public Service Commission (PSC - which oversees transmission lines State-wide) to review its 2005 guidelines requiring clear cutting of all vegetation, not just under the wires, but across the entire width of the ROW - regardless of specific topographical features or resulting environmental and property value impacts. Any such review should and must occur with full public and scientific input and concurrence.

Please send of letter of concern to the PSC and to the Governor's offices of Energy and the Environment to let them know our village fully supports the goals of this resolution.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mark Gilliland
Chair, Greenburgh Environmental Forum LORAX working group
Chair, Irvington Tree Commission
Irvington Environmental Conservation Board
Irvington Re-Leaf


A version (Word .doc file) of this letter is linked here for readers to make use of in contacting their own local representatives.

Another version (Word .doc file) of the letter can be used as a Letter to the Editor - in this case, the Journal News. Contacting your local news media can be just as effective as contacting local politicians.

Thanks for your support and lobbying efforts!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Letter to JN appeared March 17 edition of LOHUD.com at this url:

http://www.lohud.com/article/20100317/OPINION/3170303/1076/OPINION01/Tame%20tree%20clearing%20near%20transmission%20lines