Zeldin Renews Plum Island Preservation Efforts
Congressman Lee Zeldin has reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to block the sale of Plum Island by the federal government to the highest bidder.
Currently, federal laws passed in 2008 and 2011 mandate the decommissioning of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and rehabilitation of the site, along with the sale of the island, which is owned by the Department of Homeland Security. The proceeds were to finance a new biodefense research center in Kansas. A previous iteration of this bill passed the House in May of 2016.
According to Rep. Zeldin, the reintroduced legislation requires the federal government to develop a new plan for Plum Island that focuses on conservation, education and research and includes alternative uses for the island.
“Plum Island is beloved by our local community because it is a critical cultural, historical and natural resource,” he said in a statement. “…The current law, which mandates the sale of the island to the highest bidder, is the wrong path forward, because it does not provide for public access and permanent preservation of the island, or the continued use of the research infrastructure.”