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Courtney, DeLauro Announce An Amendment Restricting The Sale Of Plum Island Was Approved By The House

July 7, 2016
Press Release
The amendment will prohibit the GSA from processing or completing a sale of Plum Island

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) announced that a bipartisan amendment they led along with Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Peter King (R-NY) to prohibit the sale of Plum Island was passed by the House of Representatives. The amendment, which will prohibit the General Services Administration (GSA) from using any of its operational funding to process or complete a sale of Plum Island, was made to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2017. A final vote on the full appropriations measure in the House is expected this evening.

“Our amendment passed today is a big step toward permanently protecting Plum Island as a natural area,” said the Representatives.  “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.”

In 2008, the federal government announced plans to close the research facility on Plum Island and relocate to Manhattan, Kansas. Current law states that Plum Island must be sold publicly to help finance the new research facility. For several years, members from both sides of Long Island Sound have been working in a bipartisan manner to delay and, ultimately, repeal the mandated sale of this ecological treasure. Earlier this year, the representatives, along with the whole Connecticut delegation, cosponsored legislation that passed the House unanimously to delay the sale of Plum Island.