Description: Challenge to an easement granted by the Town of East Hampton Town Board for the landing site of a transmission cable from a proposed offshore wind facility.
Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, Inc. v. Town Board of East Hampton
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/24/2022 Decision Download Motions to dismiss granted. New York State Court Rejected Challenge to Easement for Offshore Wind Transmission Cable. A New York Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to an easement granted by the Town of East Hampton Town Board for the landing site of a transmission cable from a proposed offshore wind facility. The petitioners argued that the Town Board acted arbitrarily and capriciously by granting the easement prior to Public Service Commission (PSC) approval of the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of the Public Service Law in order to “do something” about climate change. The court concluded that granting the easement did not constitute site preparation activity that could only be undertaken after the PSC approved the certificate. The court also rejected the claim that the Town Board was required to comply with New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) before granting the easement. The court concluded that SEQRA did not apply to the project because the project was subject to environmental review pursuant to the Article VII process. In addition, the court found that the petitioners failed to state a claim under New York’s General Municipal Law § 51 for fraudulent or illegal use of public property. 02/26/2021 Memorandum of Law Download Memorandum of law filed in support of verified petition and complaint. 02/02/2021 Petition Download Verified petition and complaint filed. Petitioners asserted that the Town Board of the Town of East Hampton acted "precipitiously and on an ill-informed basis" to "pre-approve" and grant an easement for the landing site of a transmission cable that would connect an offshire wind facility with an onshore transmission facility. The petitioners alleged violations of the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and Article VII of the New York Public Service Law. They also contended that granting the easement was arbitrary and capricious; they alleged, among other things, that the Board attempted to justify the easement by citing the need to address climate change but that there is "no linkage between granting the Easement now and 'doing something' about climate change." In addition, they asserted that granting the easement was a waste of public property in violation of Section 51 of the New York General Municipal Law.