Congressman Joe Courtney was joined yesterday by a broad range of stakeholders from Connecticut’s maritime economy for a press conference to respond to New York State’s legal challenge of the final EPA dredging rule for the eastern Long Island Sound (LIS).
During the press conference at New London’s Union Station, Courtney shared that he was working closely with a coalition of regional organizations, the Connecticut Port Authority, Electric Boat and maritime organization to intervene in the lawsuit by filing an amicus brief in the federal court case defending both Connecticut’s maritime interests and the EPA’s plan.
“It would be difficult to overstate how important dredging and dredging disposal is to the maritime economy of southeastern Connecticut,” said Courtney.
“Without the regular dredging of ports and waterways, a vast array of economic activities in our region ranging from recreational boating to commercial maritime transportation, shipbuilding, the Coast Guard Academy, and the submarine base would simply cease.”
“The fact that there are four councils of governments, representing over 70 Connecticut towns, demonstrates the overwhelming support and need for this dredging designation. When the EPA published the rule establishing the ELDS last year, it represented the final step in a long process to create environmentally responsible sites across the entire length of Long Island Sound.
“The final designation followed years of intense environmental reviews, robust public engagement, and consideration of all views on the future of dredging in our region. New York’s lawsuit is an effort to overturn that deliberative process.
“If successful, this effort would disproportionately harm Connecticut’s eastern shoreline and economy.”
Courtney was joined by Michael Passero, Mayor of New London, and Chair, of the Southeastern CT Council of Governments; Robert Kaliszewski, Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Quality, CT DEEP; and Evan Matthews, Executive Director, Connecticut Port Authority.
Representatives from other regional councils of government, Electric Boat, and the marine trades were also on hand in support of the effort.