2001-09-08 / Front Page

Community Wins One: LIPA Suspends Work by Howard Schwach

Community Wins One: LIPA Suspends Work by Howard Schwach

Bowing to pressure from both community groups and from Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has temporarily suspended work on its new substation on the old LILCO site on Beach Channel Drive between Beach 108 and Beach 122 Streets.

"The new substation project is on hold in Rockaway," Andrea Staub, a media relations spokesperson for LIPA told The Wave on Tuesday. "We are temporarily suspending the project because of a letter from Assemblywoman Pheffer as well as because of the concerns of the community."

"The decision to suspend the project was made on Friday," she added, "and there are no plans at this time to meet with those groups again. We will not restart work until that meeting has been held."

The group that Staub was referring to was a gathering of local community leaders and politicians that was held two weeks ago. At that meeting, the community and politicians told representatives of both LIPA and its parent company, Keyspan Energy that the community had many questions that remained unanswered and that the community wanted work halted until those questions were answered to its satisfaction.

Liz Sulik, the President of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, was one of those participating in the meeting.

"At this point, the only thing that will satisfy the community is to stop the project until the entire site is remediated and there is public notice and public input about that process," Sulik says.

Assemblywoman Pheffer, who is spearheading the community’s interaction with LIPA and Keyspan, was unsure of when the next meeting would be held.

"The perfect venue for the next meeting would be at the Community Board," she said, "but the next meeting is the same night as the primary election and that is not good for the community."

She added that she was "working with the two companies and the community to come up with a date that all parties could work with."

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