New York Environmentalists Question State Officials on Sale of Plum Island

by Associated Press
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Plum Island Lighthouse

hbarrison, flickr

Environmentalists are questioning the move of the current Plum Island lab to Kansas.

 Environmentalists in New York are joining colleagues in Connecticut in questioning the proposed sale of Plum Island, the site of the country's only laboratory that studies infectious animal diseases.

The federal government plans to sell the 840-acre island off the eastern tip of Long Island and move research operations to a $1.14 billion laboratory in Kansas.

Elected officials on both sides of Long Island Sound have cited federal studies that question the wisdom of placing a lab that would study foot-and-mouth disease in the heart of the nation's so-called Beef Belt.

Thursday night's public hearing, as well as one held Wednesday in Connecticut, did not address the issue of moving the lab. Instead, it focused on a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed sale of the island.

Environmentalists say their preference is that if the island is sold it be kept as a nature preserve.

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