CT and RI Officials Call on EPA to Finalize ELDS Rule

Representative Joe Courtney, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty have sent a letter to the EPA, reaffirming their support for the proposed rule to designate a new Eastern Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Site (ELDS).

“Without access to an ELDS, it is expected that transporting dredged materials to other sites, like the Rhode Island Disposal Site, will increase carbon emissions from ships and risk of dredged material spills as transport distance is extended,” wrote the members.

“Moreover, the use of the Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site’s limited capacity for Long Island Sound dredging will have cascading effects on projects throughout Southern New England. Our states have been responsibly dredging in eastern Long Island Sound for over 30 years, which was recently confirmed with an A- rating on the 2016 Long Island Sound Report Card.

“According to the aforementioned Dredged Material Management Plan, economic activities that utilize Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually in economic output. Additionally, these economic activities support more than 55,000 jobs in the Long Island Sound region.”

Following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ final Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) issued in January, the EPA determined that a new site was necessary for long-term open-water dredged material disposal in the Long Island Sound region.

The EPA is proposing the new ELDS because it provides the best option for minimal environmental impact.

The two current dredging disposal sites in the area, Cornfield Shoals and New London, which are both short-term sites managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be closed.

The full text of the congressional delegation letter is available HERE

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