Brown: “Sinkholes Are Money Pits and Wind Turbine Transmission Excavation Will Make It Worse”

Assemblyman Ari Brown (R-Cedarhurst), Ranking Minority on the Assembly Local Governments Committee, has been fielding calls from residents regarding an uptick in sinkholes in his district and throughout Long Island, including a 20-foot-deep sinkhole that swallowed part of Lido Boulevard.

As Long Island continues to grapple with a surge in sinkhole occurrences, experts are pointing to the region's frail infrastructure as a significant contributing factor. The inadequacy and age of road and utility systems on Long Island have led to a troubling rise in the formation of sinkholes, jeopardizing both public safety and the environment.

A recent article published in Newsday on August 13, 2023, authored by Nicholas Spangler, “Sinkholes are money pits,” sheds light on the alarming frequency of sinkholes on Long Island. The article underscores the correlation between the deteriorating infrastructure and the escalating sinkhole crisis, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive and proactive measures to address this issue.

One of the impending challenges is the proposed excavation of Long Island roads to install transmission lines for wind turbines. While renewable energy initiatives are commendable, experts are sounding the alarm over the potential exacerbation of the existing sinkhole problem. The excavation required for the installation of wind turbine transmission lines could further compromise the already weakened road infrastructure, potentially leading to more frequent and severe sinkhole occurrences.

“We cannot ignore the delicate state of our infrastructure, which has been a not-so-silent contributor to the surge in sinkholes we are witnessing," warned Brown. "While renewable energy projects are a commendable pursuit for a sustainable future, we must tread carefully and prioritize the well-being of our communities. Having been in the construction industry for five decades, I truly understand what happens to disturbed soil and the settling thereafter,” said Brown.

“Many constituents have been reaching out to my office demanding that the state prioritize infrastructure upgrades and comprehensive assessments before embarking on large-scale projects such as the Equinor wind turbine transmission line installation. Collaborative efforts between government agencies, engineering experts and environmental advocates are crucial to ensuring a balanced approach that addresses both energy needs and infrastructure stability,” Brown continued.

As Long Island navigates these challenging waters, it is imperative for Gov. Hochul to heed these visible warnings and consider the long-term implications of these actions. Balancing the drive for renewable energy with the critical need for infrastructure rehabilitation is the key to securing a safe and sustainable future for all.