An East Hampton group that has been fighting against the installation by PSEG Long Island of a high-power electricity transmission line on new and higher poles filed suit on Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court in Riverhead in an effort to stop the project.
Twenty plaintiffs who live on or near the six-mile route, which runs between power substations in East Hampton Village and Amagansett, filed a class-action suit against PSEG and the Long Island Power Authority, which turned over electricity delivery to PSEG last year but retains oversight of its operations.
The plaintiffs seek a judgment in the amount of at least $30 million for the potentially affected homeowners, as well as a total of $20 million to cover the cost of "removing all poisonous substances" from the plaintiffs' property," and for emotional distress.
The lawsuit also seeks an injunction requiring the utility companies to remove all the poles that have been installed, and to bury the electric lines, at the companies' cost.
The lawsuit claims the lines and wooden utility poles have caused serious injury to trees, vegetation, and the scenic quality of the residential streets along the route. It alleges that the project will continue to cause serious injury due to a coating on the poles of pentachlorophenol, a preservative that, according to the suit, is a dangerous poison that leaches into the soil and can be harmful to the water table as well as to humans if its fumes are inhaled. The suit also alleges negative effects on health from electric magnetic fields emanating from the transmission lines.
The plaintiffs also allege that the power lines may significantly lower the value of over 300 residences, which, with a total market value now of $300 million, could be decreased by up to 10 percent, or $30 million.