Energy & Environment
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"Without access to an ELDS, it is expected that transporting dredged materials to other sites, like the Rhode Island Disposal Site, will increase carbon emissions from ships and risk of dredged material spills as transport distance is extended,” wrote the members. “Moreover, the use of the Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site's limited capacity for Long Island Sound dredging will have cascading effects on projects throughout Southern New England. Our states have been responsibly dredging in eastern Long Island Sound for over 30 years, which was recently confirmed with an A- rating on the 2016 Long Island Sound Report Card.
“As representatives from the region, we understand firsthand the importance of preserving and protecting the environment in and around the Sound for future generations to enjoy,” wrote the members. “The environmental soundness of Long Island Sound dredging is a clear focus of the ELDS. The proposed rule is consistent with the federally-approved Coastal Zone Management Plans for New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Furthermore, it should be noted that without access to the ELDS, it is expected that transporting dredged materials to other sites, like the Rhode Island Disposal Site, will increase carbon emissions from ships and risk of dredged material spills as transport distance is extended. Our states have been responsibly dredging using open-water placement for 35 years and we believe that swift adoption of the ELDS, along with an increased effort to find sustainable on-land solutions for suitable dredged materials, will provide the Long Island Sound region with a balanced approach for future waterway maintenance projects."
July 11, 2016 Press Release
“We cannot allow small communities and municipalities across this country to fall into financial distress because of congressional gridlock which is holding up the establishment of a federal nuclear waste storage facility,” said Courtney. “Our bill will compensate local communities that have become de facto interim storage locations for toxic nuclear waste until a centralized storage location can be opened. This bill is an acknowledgement that communities like Haddam deserve restitution for storing spent nuclear fuel long after the federal government committed to taking on the burden.“
“The final rule issued yesterday establishing new restrictions on the use of the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites goes a long way toward protecting the environment while advancing Connecticut’s maritime economic interests. Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually to our economic output in the region and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our state’s economy. From the submarine base in Groton to family-owned marinas up and down our coast, thousands of residents across our state depend on reliable access to local waterways for their livelihoods. We are pleased that the amended restrictions announced yesterday prioritize disposing of dredged materials on land to mitigate any harm to the environment and the region’s fish and shellfish stocks. EPA was able to strike the right balance between ensuring our maritime economy continues to thrive while protecting both the scenic beauty and biological diversity of the Sound.”
“Plum Island is a scenic and biological treasure located right in the middle of Long Island Sound. It is home to a rich assortment of rare plant and animal species that need to be walled off from human interference. Nearly everyone involved in this issue agrees that it should be preserved as a natural sanctuary – not sold off to the highest bidder for development. The amendment will prevent the federal agency in charge of the island from moving forward with a sale by prohibiting it from using any of its operational funding provided by Congress for that purpose. This will not be the end of the fight to preserve Plum Island, but this will provide us with more time to find a permanent solution for protecting the Island for generations to come.”
“Plum Island is an incredibly special place, a scenic and biological treasure located right off our coast in Long Island Sound,” said Courtney. “The measure passed today started in 2013 in response to a GSA report that signaled the sale of Plum Island was on the fast track. It has really taken persistence up until the vote today to make sure that we stop that process and send the message loud and clear that Plum Island is not for sale. Because of its unique history that left the island unsuitable for residential or commercial, it has developed an incredibly unique and rich assortment of biodiversity. I have had the opportunity to visit the island - it’s like you are in a different world - and that is something that we can never take for granted, particularly in a part of the country where there is a tremendous amount of sea traffic and economic activity. For us to preserve this 840 acre parcel with its incredible richness is something that really will live on for generations into the future. We really are closer than we have ever been to permanently protecting Plum Island.“
“Plum Island is a scenic and biological treasure located right in the middle of Long Island Sound,” said the lawmakers. “The island is home to a rich assortment of endangered species, and should be preserved as a natural sanctuary – not sold off to the highest bidder for development. We have long supported federal legislation to remove the government requirement to sell Plum Island as a means to finance a new research facility. The sale of Plum Island is no longer financially necessary because Congress has fully appropriated the funds to build the new bioresearch facility in Kansas. Now that this legislation has been passed in committee, it is our hope that it will be quickly passed by the full House and taken up in the Senate. We are closer than we have ever been to permanently protecting Plum Island.”
“We are encouraged that the EPA was able to help locate a central site for the disposal of dredged materials in eastern Long Island Sound and look forward to public input to ensure the site will protect both the scenic beauty and biological diversity of the area,” the lawmakers said. “Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually to our economic output in Connecticut, and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our regional economy. From the New London Submarine Base to family-owned marinas, thousands of residents across our state depend on reliable access to local waterways for their livelihoods. We are particularly pleased that the EPA clearly articulates processes that will mitigate any harm to the environment and to the region’s fish and shellfish stocks.”
January 29, 2016 Press Release
“It seems unreasonable to us that a decision of this magnitude, which will have a significant impact on Connecticut fishermen would be made without any input from stakeholders in our state,” said the delegation members. “This change would prevent Connecticut fishermen and lobstermen from harvesting in waters around Block Island Sound as they have done for decades, unless first obtaining costly permits from New York or Rhode Island. We believe that this misguided legislation was crafted strategically to benefit certain states while disproportionately harming the Connecticut fishing industry. At the very least, any consideration of this bill going forward should include voices from all areas that would be impacted by this change – including from our state.”
December 18, 2015 Press Release
“I am pleased that after a great deal of negotiating over the past few months, Congress was able to reach a fair,bipartisan compromise to fund the government,” said Courtney. “While this agreement is not perfect, it does contain a number of important provisions that I have stronglyadvocatedfor,including a delay of the Cadillac Tax, as well as funding for job training, healthcare research, and Connecticut’s defense manufacturing sector which helps drive our economy. To be sure, there were provisions in this bill that I would have removed, but on the whole I amglad to see that both sides of the aisle unite todo the right thing for the country. This is how Congress is supposed to function.”