Scarsdale Officials Respond About Buried Power Lines

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Scarsdale was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, with many trees knocking out overhead power lines. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – In response to residents' inquiries about burying power lines in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Scarsdale officials have distributed a response about the feasibility of such an undertaking. According to the printed response released by the village:

In order for the village to bury power lines, it would have to be done through Con Edison, which is regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). In order to force Con Ed to bury the near 84 miles of power lines in Scarsdale, there would need to be several hearings between the PSC and stakeholders.

Con Edison estimates it costs roughly $1 million per mile to bury power lines, which would mean approximately $84 million to bury all of the lines in Scarsdale. Theoretically, that cost would be fronted by Con Edison, which would then pass the cost on through increased electric rates.

Customers can get their electricity from other companies, but the lines that it flows through would still be owned by Con Edison.

Burying the power lines – it is expected it would take several years – would disrupt areas where the work was being done. Rights of ways would need to be dug up, and trees and tree roots would need to be cut.

In the short term, Scarsdale officials are studying ways to prevent such a massive disaster in the future.

“Consideration should be given to contacting Con Ed for the purpose of engaging in a project that would develop a realistic, long-range plan for burying some or all power lines in the village,” the statement said. “Such a project, if doable, would be complex, costly and require years to put into effect. Now is an appropriate time to focus on this subject in a thoughtful and constructive manner.”

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