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Remarks by Francis Zappone, Deputy Supervisor, Town of Southampton, NY

The East End faces a unique set of interrelated challenges: coastal resilience, water
quality and energy. The coastal nature of our community compounds the search for
viable solutions to each of these challengers.
What we have learned in our efforts to find these solutions is that local input and
direct involvement in the decision making is critical to the effectiveness of any
solution proposed and implemented. In recent years, for example, Federal, State
and County agencies have put more resources into the hands of local communities
in matters related to emergency management, storm recovery, and erosion control.
Although there is much more that needs to be done, this changing paradigm is
demonstrating a measure of success.
Likewise, in the area of water quality, the development of the Clean Water Institute
partnering with the State, the County, Stony Brook University and local
municipalities in developing and piloting innovative waste water treatment options
leading to tested and innovative best practices and new technologies. Again, this
new approach has demonstrated positive early results.
It is indeed encouraging to see that on the energy front that the regional power
authority, LIPA through the operational management of PSEG LI, is understanding
the importance and value of local participation in finding solutions to our energy
challenges. Other NYSERDA funded programs such as the Green Homes and the
Solarize Programs also demonstrate the desire to empower the local communities.
As a community, we are encouraged by the Governor’s call for more renewable
energy sources. We know that old solutions (conventional fossil fuel power
generation) cannot be brought to bear to address today’s energy needs. Both East
Hampton and Southampton have laid out rigorous renewable energy goals for
themselves. We welcome partnering with PSEG LI to those ends. The fact that there
is local representation from both East Hampton and Southampton in the review of
the proposals in response to the South Fork RFP is a significant first step in that
level of partnership. It is our hope that this level of local involvement will not only
continue but also grow. It is sometimes said that we are best served when we serve
ourselves. In matters as complex as coastal resiliency, water quality and energy, we
are best served when we serve each other. East Hampton and Southampton have
formed a strong alliance. We hope that forums such as today’s will further that
partnership with those representing the energy industry as well as our local energy
provider.