Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association


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Meeting With PSEG Gets Into The Knitty Gritty

Farmingdale, NY – The Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association (NSCWA) recently welcomed speakers from Long Island’s electric utility, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), as part of the Association’s ongoing Educational Series. Robert Hughes, PSEG Account Manager, along with colleagues Domenic R. Abbatiello, C.E.D., E.D.F.P., Manager of Large Consumer Support & Critical Facilities, and Robert Ganley, Manager Compliance, introduced the company.  The discussion included PSEG’s history, five-year action plan and management structure as relevant to critical facilities.

“Customer satisfaction begins with enhanced communication services for the public and civic organizations,” said Mr. Hughes.  “PSEG has implemented a proven communications model which includes enhanced training and response, a state-of-the-art call center and self-grading system.

“The NSWCA applauds PSEG’s strategy for communication,” stated Howard Abbondondelo, NSWCA President and Albertson Water Commissioner.  Accurate, complete information is vital to the safety of the public and our working crews.  Trust is built through communication and transparency, particularly in times of emergency.”

NSWCA commissioners wasted no time in using this opportunity to open dialogue with PSEG. Lawrence Zaino, Commissioner from the Carle Place Water District, addressed the “hurricane poles” installed along some of Long Island’s coastal communities.  These 65-70 foot poles bolster the power grid where residents have expressed safety and aesthetic concerns.

Karl Schweitzer, Commissioner from the Hicksville Water District, vocalized trepidation over new utility poles preservatives. “Chemicals on the poles can negatively affect the environment and potentially the water table,” Mr. Schweitzer said.  He continued by asking about environmental studies and alternatives explored by PSET.

PSEG’s Domenic Abbatiello advanced no resolutions but welcomed the opportunity for further discussion with the NSWCA and the community at large, in hopes of finding a solution that is both economical and viable.

“Maximizing our water budgets and remaining the least expensive of utilities is a mission of NSWCA commissioners,” stated Carle Place Water District Commissioner Tim Stellato. Mr. Stellato inquired about whether or not water districts can use energy efficient programs to sell power back to the grid, aiding the environment and saving the community money.

“If an energy efficient program makes sense, PSEG will assign a rebate to it,” responded   Mr. Hughes assured.

The September meeting served as preface to future dialogues between the NSWCA and PSEG.  Plans for continued communications will improve the safety, efficiencies, cooperation and service of Long Island’s public utilities.