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Blumenthal, Courtney to comment on proposed Plum Island sale

By Judy Benson

Publication: theday.com

Published October 16. 2012 12:00PM   Updated October 16. 2012 12:14PM

Old Saybrook – Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, will release their comments on the draft environmental impact statement about the federal government’s proposed sale of Plum Island at a news conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Saybrook Inn & Spa.

They will be joined by representatives of Save the Sound, a program of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Audubon Connecticut, the Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the Nature Conservancy. The event will precede a public hearing by the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of the sale, that will begin at 6 p.m. at the inn.

On Monday, Save the Sound announced that it had submitted comments to the draft statement advocating that the island be preserved for conservation purposes.

In announcing the event with lawmakers Wednesday, Save the Sound noted that Plum Island, along with Little Gull and Great Gull islands, were identified in 2006 Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative as among 33 of the Sound’s most important ecological resources.

GAS is taking steps toward the sale as the result of a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to build a new high security animal disease lab in Manhattan, Kan., to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

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