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Long Island News

U.S. House Votes To Halt Sale Of Plum Island

Ed Betz

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday to stop the sale of Plum Island, the island off of Long Island’s East End originally used as an animal disease lab. The lab is scheduled to move to Kansas around 2020. 

Congress voted to close the lab in 2008 and sell Plum Island off to the highest bidder.

The bill was supported by Connecticut and Long Island’s entire congressional delegation and passed the House after being stuck in committee for nearly a decade.

Representative Lee Zeldin, NY-R1, from Long Island says that Plum Island should not be for sale. He says its history should be protected, and it should continue to be used as a center for research.  

“To deny the opportunity to protect the island, to have the public access, to utilize the research facility for a productive research mission – for all the those opportunities that are available – for Plum Island to get wasted, instead just sold to someone because he or she bid the most, is a massive missed opportunity.”  

The town of Southold controls zoning rights for Plum Island, and it is zoned as a research district, which would prevent most commercial development.

Right now, 90 percent of it is undeveloped.