Senator Diane Allen plans to introduce legislation to give Burlington City the power to decide whether or not dredge spoils can be dumped on Burlington Island, which has been long-controlled by the people of Burlington.
“This is one of the jewels of the Delaware River, and we want to preserve it,” Senator Allen said.
“We’re working with a number of groups, including the Board of Island Managers, to ensure that city residents continue to have the final call on what happens at Burlington Island.”
The legislation prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection from approving any dumping of dredge spoils on any portion of a Delaware River island that is owned or controlled by either the state or a local municipality, unless it is authorized to do so by each municipality with land claims on the island.
The bill comes in response to reports that the Army Corps of Engineers plans to clear 40 acres of the island to use as a dump site for dredge spoils.
City leaders contend that they should have final say on what happens on the island and have expressed their vehement opposition to the Army Corps’ plan.
Burlington Island, an uninhabited, 300-acre island in the middle of the Delaware River, has been under local control since the mid-19th century and has been subject to restrictions established by the legislature to benefit the City of Burlington.