Rep. Zeldin Announces Army Corps Extension of DMMP Comment Period and an Additional Hearing
Patchogue, NY – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, C – NY-1) released the following statement today following the release of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan and the decision to extend the comment period and add an additional hearing.
“On August 10, 2015, I called upon the Army Corps to extend the comment period to 120 days and to schedule additional public hearings. The 30 day comment period and holding only one public hearing a week after the plan is released is totally unacceptable. It is absolutely essential that the public have sufficient time to review the draft plan and to comment. I'm grateful for those local elected officials and community leaders who have joined me in this cause.
The announcement that the Army Corps has extended the comment period from 30 days to 60 days with an additional hearing is an improvement, but holding the hearings just one week after the release of the plan is unacceptable.
Though no final decisions have been made and this is just an initial outline, the Army Corps and EPA must remember that the law is crystal clear: EPA testing must be performed on all dredge waste to ensure that the material will not harm the environment into which it is placed. Long Island can not be a dumping ground for any questionable waste dredged out of Connecticut rivers.
I support phasing out all open water disposal of dredge waste in the Long Island Sound. This report opens the door to phasing out the practice, but should do more to speed up this process.
Dredging is essential to the citizens of Long Island who rely upon waterways for transportation, recreation, and economic activity. That is why in May I voted for H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, which increased the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund by $36 million and included critical reforms to ensure Long Island’s ports and harbors get our equitable share of money.”
A copy of the letter Congressman Zeldin sent to Meghan Quinn at the Programs & Projects Management Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on August 10, 2015 can be found here: 8_10_15 Zeldin Letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.pdf
The new deadline for public comment is October 16, 2015. The two public hearings will be held in New York on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015 in the Village Center at Port Jefferson at 101-A East Broadway in Port Jefferson, N.Y.; and on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 at the Marriott Long Island at 101 James Doolittle Blvd. in Uniondale, N.Y.