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Brookhaven plan would create energy-efficient buildings

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine wants half of Brookhaven's power to come from alternative energy by 2020.

The first part of his plan, revealed Wednesday in an interview, calls for organizing a list of town buildings that can be converted into environmentally sound structures.

The roof on Town Hall would be replaced with solar panels in 2016, and environmentally friendly windows and lights would be installed.

Romaine's plan also includes adding solar panels and windmills on other town buildings.

Romaine, who has a record of championing environmental causes, declined to provide specifics on funding the changes, but he did say that he first wants to seek state and federal funds and that the plan may involve bonds for some projects.

The announcement coincides with Brookhaven's first Green Energy and Sustainability Fair, to be held 10 a.m. Saturday at Town Hall in Farmingville.

Also Wednesday, Romaine named Anthony Graves, the town's top environmental analyst, to lead Brookhaven's Climate Smart Community Task Force. The town pledged in 2009 to create it after New York State established the Climate Smart Communities Program to provide local governments with guidance on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving health and safety, town officials said.

The program is sponsored by six state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Public Service Commission.

Dozens of communities have joined the program. In Nassau, the City of Long Beach, the Town of North Hempstead and the villages of East Rockaway, Great Neck Plaza and Woodsburgh are participating. In Suffolk, the villages of Greenport and Port Jefferson are participating, along with Babylon, East Hampton, Southampton, Huntington, Smithtown and Islip towns.

Graves -- whose roles will result in an action plan for climate mitigation and adaptation -- will coordinate the town's response to rising sea levels and other concerns regarding climate change, which Romaine said is a global problem.

"Rising sea levels is a threat," he said. "It won't flood our basins tomorrow, but it poses a greater threat."


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