33° Good Afternoon
33° Good Afternoon

Letter: Bury power lines to avoid toxic chemical

PSEG/LIPA power lines span the sky in Commack

PSEG/LIPA power lines span the sky in Commack on Dec. 2, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

PSEG Long Island is creating a new trail of ugly, tall brown poles that will course through all of Long Island ["Tall order: PSEG set to install bigger, tougher power poles with millions in federal money," News, March 30].

The trail is poisoned with "penta," short for pentachlorophenol, a highly toxic chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency says is a probable carcinogen. It's poisonous to inhale. It's banned in 33 countries, but not here.

Penta leaches into the soil and threatens the aquifer, our only source of drinking water! Drive along almost any South Fork or Great Neck road and you will see these new poles. PSEG plans to erect similar poles in Southold, Huntington and Garden City.

There is an alternative. Buried power lines are not wrecked by storms, trees are not sacrificed to produce poles at tremendous cost to ratepayers, and ugly poles and wires don't mar the aesthetics of quiet residential streets.

Rebecca Singer and Larry Penny, East Hampton

Editor's note: The writers are the co-chairwoman of Long Island Businesses for Responsible Energy and the former director of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection for East Hampton Town.