NYS And EPA Clash Over LI Sound Dredging Plan

Oct 5, 2016

New York State is formally objecting to the federal government’s plan to continue dumping dredged materials in Long Island Sound.

The Army Corps of Engineers dredges silt and sand from rivers and ports to keep them navigable. Most of that dredging takes place in Connecticut.

The Environmental Protection Agency has given approval to dump the majority of it in the Sound, which is shared by Connecticut and New York.

In order to move forward with the plan, the EPA needs to prove that the project fits within the guidelines of the states’ coastal management programs.

The EPA says there won’t be any long term effects to the Sound, but New York State disagrees.

Adrienne Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the plan allows for a new dumpsite in the eastern part of the Sound, which New York State officials are concerned about.

“When these dredge materials are dumped, it has the ability to spread throughout the bottomlands and also throughout the water column. That means they would be killing fin fish that are bottom dwellers like the flounder and a myriad of other fish,” Esposito says.

The State of New York can challenge the EPA in court if they’re unable to come to an agreement on the dredging plan.