PSEG Switching From One Dangerous Chemical To Another, N. Hempstead Supervisor Says

NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Town of North Hempstead was complaining this week that PSEG Long Island continues to use harmful and cancer-causing chemicals on its utility poles.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth claimed that PSEG Long Island went from one cancer-causing chemical to another on the poles.

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She said she will fight PSEG Long Island’s plans to put chromated copper arsenate – CCA for short – on its utility poles.

Right now, Bosworth said, the poles are treated with another dangerous chemical called pentaclorophenol, or penta.

She said the switch was “a cost-cutting measure. CCA contains known carcinogens.”

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Bosworth said PSEG Long Island should be using non-toxic materials instead.

“We’re concerned for everybody,” she said. “You may remember we did legislation calling for warning signs on all poles. This would still be applicable.”

North Hempstead last September ordered PSEG Long Island to post signs warning that the poles have been treated with penta.

PSEG Long Island in turn filed a lawsuit this past January, arguing that a signage mandate is unworkable and violates their free speech.

A spokesman for PSEG Long Island told TV 10/55 last September that it doesn’t put penta on the poles, the manufacturers do, and that for decades, the federal government has approved the chemical for this use.

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PSEG Long Island said Friday that there are a number of factors that are considered when choosing treatments for poles, including durability, environmental health, logistics, and cost.