Saturday, February 29, 2020

New York state senator calls for re-evaluation of Long Island Sound dredge disposal

New York state Sen. Ken LaVelle (R-Port Jefferson) issued a statement Monday supporting calls from other area leaders and environmentalists in calling for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider a plan to dump dredged materials in the Long Island Sound.

“Throughout my tenure as state senator, I have worked to put in place policies and programs to protect this vitally important resource,” LaVelle said. “This year alone, we secured $5 million towards clean water studies and initiatives across Long Island.”

The ACE is responsible for maintaining 55 Federal Navigation Projects in the Long Island Sound and has historically dumped all dredged materials in the Sound, though various groups have recently begun advocating for the materials to be moved upstream.

“To dump dredge spoils from potentially contaminated sites would do irreparable harm to Long Island Sound, LaVelle said. “There have been numerous studies that collectively demonstrate pollution, overfishing and contaminated dredge material disposal have eroded the health of the Sound over time, thereby reducing its resilience capacity to deal with additional ecological stressors. The Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA need to discontinue their attempt to implement this plan.”

The Army Corps of Engineers will host two public meetings on the issue and is accepting public comments until Sept. 18.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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