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The fight to preserve the Long Pond Greenbelt continues

Sagg Pond, NY
Avanti Peters
Sagg Pond, NY

A petition signed by 3,000 residents was presented to the Long Island Power Association on Wednesday, the latest action by those concerned with the Long Pond Greenbelt Project.

Concerned residents attended a LIPA board meeting on Wednesday to deliver a petition and remarks on the issue. The petition, which was shared by actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, had more than 3,000 signatures.

The project, led by LIPA and PSEG, plans to drill in environmentally sensitive areas to install an underground transmission wire.

Adrienne Esposito is the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. Esposito said the drilling threatens endangered species that have lived in the Greenbelt for centuries.

“It's been undisturbed since the glaciers deposited their debt thousands and thousands of years ago,” Esposito said. “Let's leave it there. That's why it's a preserve. We preserved this area with taxpayer dollars years ago to prevent this kind of disturbance and this kind of use.”

Residents called on LIPA and PSEG to use a different route — which the companies said will cost more money.

According to PSEG’s draft environmental impact review, there are five alternative routes. In August, a spokesperson for the company assured that "all reasonable concerns will be carefully evaluated."

Sag Harbor resident Shawn Sachs said the project lacks support — specifically from the community that would fund it.

“These are the ratepayers,” Sachs said. “We shoulder the burden of some of the most expensive rates in the country. And I'd like to see some of that money be put toward protecting the land that we chose to protect.”

The project is still in the public comment period.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.