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After Cuomo Veto, Lawmakers To Tweak Pine Barrens Protection Bill

The Turducken
An area near Birch Creek Owl Pond in the Long Island Pine Barrens.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have expanded the Long Island Pine Barrens.

The bill called for more than one thousand acres of land in Shoreham and Mastic to be added to the Pine Barrens in Suffolk County. But Cuomo rejected it, citing the lack of public hearings and the potential to halt solar energy projects.

Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says she supports the veto that will protect two solar farm projects in Shoreham and Mastic.  

“We feel that it’s inappropriate to pit land preservation against expanding solar power. So the veto allows for more time to work for a solution that will allow for maximum land preservation while still continuing to advance solar and renewables.”

One of the primary sponsors of the bill, Assemblyman Steve Englebright of Setauket, is disappointed.  

“We should rededicate ourselves to solving the need of protecting these important properties in the Pine Barrens that overlie our drinking water and help protect the natural history heritage of our region.”   

He plans to introduce a new bill that addresses Cuomo’s concerns and said he believes the Senate will do the same.