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News from the Supervisor




Clarkstown Supervisor Alexander J. Gromack has renewed his request for the review, modification or reversal of a NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) mandate requiring the ‘clear cutting of trees’ along electric transmission lines.


The PSC mandate, embodied in “Order Requiring Enhanced Transmission Right-Of Way Management Practices By Electric Utilities” requires New York based utilities, such as Orange & Rockland (O&R) to develop and maintain a right of way management plan for all electric transmission lines.  Part of the management plan requires the complete removal, to the floor or ground level, of any ‘undesirable’ vegetation.


Supervisor Gromack is submitting a resolution for Tuesday’s Town Board Meeting that will call for a reversal of the PSC order.  “This PSC order should be reviewed and replaced with one that balances the need to protect our power lines with preserving our trees”, said Gromack.  In addition, the Town Attorney will review any legal options the Town may have and explore opportunities of working with other municipalities to reverse this action of the PSC.


After requesting support from the former Governor a number of times last year, Supervisor Gromack sent a letter today to the new Governor of New York, David Paterson seeking his support on this issue in hope that the new administration is more sensitive to local issues. 


Throughout the last year, Gromack met with representatives from both the PSC and Orange & Rockland.  As a result of those meetings, O&R did agree to extend their ‘clear cutting’ cycle over a two year rather than one year period.  It was hoped that an extension would provide Clarkstown and other communities with time to request an overview and review of the PSC order.



In addition, last year the Town Board, passed the Tree Preservation Law, intended to prevent the clear-cutting and indiscriminate removal of trees by all.  Clear-cutting contributes to flooding problems and other negative environmental impacts, such as erosion and lesser air quality.  The law provides for the replanting of trees identical or similar in type to the ones cut, and requires a permit to cut more than the allowable amount.


Supervisor Gromack said, “O&R has already cut down mature trees in their right of way at Germonds Park and the Davenport Preserve.  While we work to preserve Open Space, the PSC mandates the destruction of trees. That doesn’t make any sense.”  Gromack added, “It’s not just Town owned property that is being impacted.  As we have seen over the past year, much of the impact is along private residential property.”



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10 Maple Avenue, New City, New York 10956 • Telephone (845) 639-2050 • (845) 634-5456

Town of Clarkstown 10 Maple Avenue, New City, NY 10956 (845) 639-2000
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