Senator Ken LaValle’s Statement Concerning the Veto of the Legislation to Expand the Pine Barrens

LaValle: "Throughout my career, I have made it a priority to preserve and protect our fragile environment."

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NY State Senator Ken LaValle.

Photo by: Office of Senator Ken LaValle.

Long Island, NY - December 19, 2017 - Senator Ken LaValle today released the following statement concerning the veto of the legislation to expand the Pine Barrens:
“As the author of the original legislation to preserve the Pine Barrens, I am truly disappointed that an opportunity to add over 1,000 acres to the preserve has been vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 
Over the past year, we have painstakingly worked toward the passage and approval of this new legislation. The reality is that once taken, these forest lands will never be recovered. Up until late yesterday, there were extensive negotiations between the Town of Brookhaven, the developer of the Mastic Pine Barrens (or woods property), the Governor's office and the Legislature. These lands are particularly critical for the ecology of the Forge River. Destroying the forest and the trees to install solar power just does not make sense at either the Mastic Woods or Shoreham Old Growth Coastal Forest properties
Throughout my career, I have made it a priority to preserve and protect our fragile environment. The original Pine Barrens Act, signed by Governor Mario Cuomo, led to the preservation of over 105,000 acres to protect ground, surface, and drinking water. I never agree with obliterating trees and forests to replace them with another “green” technology. Currently, over 30% of New York State’s solar power is generated on Long Island, the majority of which is produced in my Senate District.   We can continue to expand the green energies where they will benefit Long Island without damaging the environment as we proceed. Destroying the environment is never the direction I wish to take.
Protecting the Pine Barrens are critically important for our clean air, pristine waters, and open lands. While we could have taken the easy route, and agreed to watering down the legislation to have it approved, we chose to fight for the correct path instead. We need to take the long-term view for everyone on Long Island and commit to leaving a legacy of preserved land, protected water and clean air for future generations.”