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Judge tosses Brookhaven suit against large utility poles

A state Supreme Court judge has tossed a lawsuit by Brookhaven Town against LIPA and PSEG Long Island over giant steel poles on Eastport roads, calling the topic “moot” because the work was largely complete by the time its suit was filed.

Brookhaven’s suit, filed last year, raised objections to the project’s size and scope, saying the town wasn’t properly notified under state environmental law that more than 200 large steel poles would replace wooden ones along County Road 51 and on Eastport Manor Road in Eastport.

Justice Joseph Santorelli declared the town’s lawsuit “moot,” citing an earlier judgment in LIPA and PSEG’s favor around an Amagansett substation that was also largely completed.

“The court notes that Brookhaven did not commence this action until July 21, 2017 . . . which was 42 days after the new transmission line was activated and 102 days after the project was started,” the ruling states. The work “cannot be undone without undue hardship.”

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine would not immediately say whether the town would appeal.

“To say we’re greatly disappointed is an understatement,” he said. “We’re weighing our options.”

Romaine said the town was hindered from action against the utility because it wasn’t included in environmental review filings, and didn’t get access to the filings until well after the work was completed. “We were kept in the dark about the details of this project, including the size of the poles,” he said.

A PSEG spokeswoman said the company “is pleased with the court’s decision.”

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