House Passes Rep. Zeldin’s Bill to Protect Plum Island
Washington, DC - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) announced that the House of Representatives today passed his bipartisan bill, the Plum Island Preservation Act (H.R. 2182), which would prevent the sale of Plum Island by the federal government to the highest bidder. H.R. 2182, which you can view here, has received unanimous support from the Long Island and Connecticut House delegations, as well as a coalition of over 65 local and national environmental groups. In order to become law, the bill must also be passed in the United States Senate. Prior to the House vote, Congressman Zeldin spoke on the House floor in support of his bill, which you can view here.
Congressman Zeldin’s bill will commission the Government Accountability Office, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, which currently “owns” the island, to formulate a comprehensive plan for the future of the island. This legislation requires the plan focus on conservation, education, and research and include alternative uses for the island including a transfer of ownership to another federal agency, the state or local government, a nonprofit, or a combination thereof. Allowing for continued research, public access and permanent preservation of the island, Congressman Zeldin’s bill, H.R. 2182, will suspend laws passed in 2008 and 2011 that mandated the public sale of Plum Island by the federal government to the highest bidder.
Congressman Zeldin said, “Today, the House of Representatives passed my bipartisan bill to allow for continued research, public access and permanent preservation of Plum Island. Since taking office in 2015, one of my highest local priorities has been to protect Plum Island. The current law, which mandates the sale of the island to the highest bidder, is the wrong path forward. Preserving this island’s natural beauty, while maintaining a research mission, will continue to provide important economic and environmental benefits to Long Island. It will also ensure that the state of the art research facility at Plum Island does not go to waste. This bill will now be sent to the U.S. Senate. I, along with the bipartisan supporters of this bill in the House from New York and Connecticut, in addition to the 65+ environmental and community organizations in the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, will continue to urge Connecticut and New York's U.S. Senators to get this important bipartisan legislation over the top in their Chamber. We need to get this bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”
In the 114th Congress, Congressman Zeldin’s bipartisan bill to protect Plum Island (H.R. 1887) passed the House of Representatives on May 16, 2016. Congressman Zeldin’s amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2017 (H.R. 5485), which would prohibit any of the funding within the appropriations bill to be used to market or sell Plum Island, also passed the House of Representatives on July 7, 2016.