The recent passage of a House bill prohibiting the sale of Plum Island has renewed optimism among legislators and environmental advocates that it will pass the Senate and become law.
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass H.R. 2182, a measure that would suspend laws passed in 2008 and 2011 that ordered the federal government’s sale of the island to the highest bidder.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who sponsored the bill, said in a statement that he and other legislators would be calling for the bill to be signed into law “as soon as possible.”
“Preserving this island’s natural beauty, while maintaining a research mission, will continue to provide important economic and environmental benefits to Long Island,” Zeldin said. “It will also ensure that the state-of-the-art research facility at Plum Island does not go to waste.“
While the bill would not allow for the island’s existing animal research facility to stay open, it would seek alternatives that will keep the lab’s infrastructure in use following the center’s planned closure, according to a representative for Zeldin. The Department of Homeland Security decided in 2008 to move to a new facility in Kansas by 2022 and sell Plum Island to offset the building costs.
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