Lawsuit to protect Plum Island moves forward
A federal district court judge has ruled that a lawsuit to block the potential sale of Plum Island in Long Island Sound can go forward.
“With this win, our leverage to protect the hundreds of acres of pristine dunes, bluffs, and coastal forest, and many at-risk species of wildlife on Plum Island just increased significantly,” said Curt Johnson, president of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound
CFE and Save the Sound and six other organizations and individuals filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security and General Services Administration in July 2016, arguing that auctioning the federally-owned Plum Island to the highest bidder violates multiple federal laws by failing to adequately consider the environmental impact of such a sale.
Homeland Security and GSA tried to get the lawsuit dismissed. But late last week, Judge Denis Hurley of the Eastern District of New York rejected each one of the agencies’ arguments, Johnson said.
Roger Reynolds, chief legal officer for CFE and Save the Sound, added “We’ll now have the opportunity to present our full case to the court and ask that the sale of the island be halted until the agencies complete a proper environmental review in accordance with federal law.”
Plum Island, located in New York State waters, for decades housed a top secret animal research facility. The federal government plans to relocate that facility and has proposed selling the property for redevelopment.