EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO REPAIR LEAKING HEMPSTEAD HARBOR TRANSMISSION LINE
Tappen Beach in Glenwood Landing is a launching point for the repair and clean-up operation
January 12, 2014 -- A New York Power Authority transmission cable beneath the sea floor at the mouth of Hempstead Harbor was damaged last Monday and is leaking 3.5 to 5 gallons of dielectric fluid per hour into the water creating a “visible sheen on the water’s surface.” According to a press release issued by NYPA on Friday, the cause of the damage was unknown. A worker at the scene this past weekend said that a boat anchor appeared to be the culprit.
According to NYPA, the dielectric fluid, which is used as an insulator for high voltage transmission lines, is non-toxic and not a danger to
wildlife or to the environment, and that “shellfish areas in the vicinity remain open.”
The New York Power Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard are working together with PSEG to repair the cable and are “deploying measures to capture the cable fluid close to the failure point.” A 7,000 foot boom has been laid out and skimmer boats have been deployed.
Tappen Beach on Shore Road in Glenwood Landing has been a launching point for the operation with a large tent, trailers, and several trucks from Miller Environmental Group, an environmental response, remediation and restoration services company, in the parking lot.
According to NYPA, the 26 mile transmission line, which is capable of carrying 675,000 kilowatts of power, the equivalent of a large electric power plant, extends from Con Edison’s Sprain Brook Substation in Yonkers to NYPA’s East Garden City Substation in Hempstead and was put into service in 1991. Eight miles of the line are buried 10 to 15 feet underneath the sea bed from New Rochelle to North Hempstead.
The loss of use of the line has not affected power service on Long Island, and NYPA says that it intends to use a spare trans-sound cable already in place to make up for the loss in power transmission. It is expected to take about two weeks to complete the repairs.
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