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Zeldin reintroduces bill to stop sale of Plum Island

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) hosts a news conference

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) hosts a news conference at Southold Town Hall in Southold on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Credit: Randee Daddona

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin has reintroduced a bill that would reverse the federal government's planned sale of Plum Island.

Congress in 2008 ordered the government to sell the 840-acre island to the highest bidder, as officials prepare to move the livestock disease laboratory there to a new facility in Kansas.

Zeldin (R-Shirley) said Friday that he reintroduced legislation previously sponsored by his predecessor Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) to reverse the government's mandate to sell the island, which conservationists prize.

Zeldin said the sale would do little to offset the cost of building the new $1.2 billion Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas, due to the anticipated cost of environmental cleanup on Plum Island and 2013 zoning passed by Southold Town that severely restricts development there.

"Plum Island offers Long Island a unique research and environmental resource that should be preserved for generations to come," Zeldin said in a news release. "I have always supported keeping Plum Island open on Long Island and am fighting hard in Congress to do just that."

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