Congressman Lee Zeldin, member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Long Island Sound Caucus, recently called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase out Eastern Long Island Sound open water dredged waste dump sites.
Zeldin sent a letter to the Administrator of the EPA opposing their proposed rule, “Ocean Disposal; Designation of a Dredged Material Disposal Site in Eastern Region of Long Island Sound; Connecticut (81 FR 24748),” which would continue open water dumping of dredge waste in the Eastern Long Island Sound for up to 30 years, despite the agency previously committing to close both of the Eastern Long Sound disposal sites (ELDS), Cornfield Shoals and New London, by December 23, 2016.
In his letter, Zeldin said, “The EPA’s proposal to extend and expand the open water dumping of dredge waste in the Eastern Long Island Sound for up to 30 years, is unacceptable and shows an extreme lack of concern for public input after nearly a year of outcry from the citizens of Long Island in opposition to the revised Dredged Materials Management Plan (DMMP).”
According to him, the Long Island Sound is an EPA designated Estuary of National Significance and one of the nation’s most populated watersheds. Through work with the EPA, state and local governments, and dedicated Long Islanders, progress has been made to improve water quality and ecosystem health in the Sound.
“All of this we owe to the improvement of this critical ecosystem so it is critical that the EPA and Army Corps do not impede this progress through this misguided proposal. Time and again, the people of Long Island and their elected representatives have made it clear to the EPA and to the Army Corps of Engineers that open water dumping in the Long Island Sound must be phased out, not expanded, which is why this proposed rule must be rejected,” added Congressman Lee Zeldin.