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Courtney Remarks 'Plum Island Is Not For Sale' As Bill to Delay the Sale of the Island Passes the house of Representatives

May 17, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a bill to delay any sale of Plum Island by requiring an additional comprehensive federal review of alternative management and use of the island:

Rep. Courtney appeared on the House Floor to express his support for the legislation to delay the sale of Plum Island

“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."

H.R. 1887, which Courtney has cosponsored, would expand on an ongoing study of the island by the Department of Homeland Security regarding the conservation and cost of Plum Island. The new report that will be administered by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), would use the study by the Department of Homeland Security to assess the feasibility and cost of alternative uses and cleanup of current government sites on the island. The bill also prohibits the use of the existing authority to sell the island until 180 days after the report is submitted to Congress, providing additional opportunity to further restrict the sale or transfer of the property.

The measure was passed unanimously in the House, and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.