Patrick Halpin, former Suffolk County executive, poses for a photo...

Patrick Halpin, former Suffolk County executive, poses for a photo in the Newsday studio on Dec. 17, 2015. Credit: Rachel Brightman

Should Patrick Halpin be wearing two hats?

Isn’t there a glaring conflict of interest for Patrick Halpin, a Suffolk County Water Authority board member, to be working as a paid lobbyist for a proposed solar farm in Shoreham [“Solar farm would achieve multiple goals,” Letters, March 23]?

Clear-cutting 300 acres of forest for this project would create a direct threat to our clean-water resources. Instead of protecting water, Halpin appears to be cashing in on a proposal that would undermine clean-water conservation.

Does Halpin speak for the entire water authority board when he supports a project so environmentally degrading that Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) labels it “obscene”?

John Turner, a founder of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, reports that the Shoreham site recharges an estimated 465 million gallons of clean water annually. This vast wooded area is a potential clean-water resource for the local community and helps maintain the quality of the coastal waters of Long Island Sound.

Peter Maniscalco, Manorville

Editor’s note: The writer is a sustainability educator and advocate.


I write with profound disappointment at former Suffolk County Executive Patrick Halpin’s letter supporting the clearing of some 300 acres of the Shoreham-Wading River forest for a solar generating station.

Halpin preserved more open space per year than any of his predecessors or followers when he was in office. Now a consultant for the company proposing this clear-cutting of forest, he wrongly claims this project would likely be the cheapest source of renewable energy for Long Island.

I believe that the Clean Energy Link proposal that would import solar and wind power from out of state via the Poseidon transmission cable would necessarily be cheaper, given Long Island’s high land prices.

Moreover, everyone supports solar energy, but panels belongs on rooftops, in parking lots or on previously disturbed land. Cutting down trees for solar is like saying we must destroy the environment to save it.

Richard Amper, Riverhead

Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, an environmental education and advocacy organization.