Northeastern legislators unhappy with the transition of the animal disease research center are sponsoring a bill to block the sale of Plum Island to a private party.
Once the laboratory is closed, the federal government plans to sell the island, which Newsday in Long Island reports is valued between $50 and $80 million prior to any cleanup work. Rep. Tim Biship, D-NY, introduced a bill Tuesday to block the sale of the 843-acre island.
The bill, named the “Save, Don’t Sell Plum Island,” would prevent the sale of the island to a private party. Bishop told the Associated Press the island is “one of the natural treasures of the Northeast," and the estimated value is drastically lower than its true value to the country.
In addition to Bishop’s proposal, a second piece of legislation from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., supports the decision to block the sale of the island.
"We must ensure that future generations can enjoy the environmental and recreational benefits of open space, and preserve extraordinary natural resources like Plum Island," Blumenthal told the Associated Press.
The politicians acknowledge the ecological and recreational importance of the island and claim the sale of the island could compromise land use, air quality, water resources and biological resources in the area according to the Waterford Patch.