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Southold Town to join state lawsuit on dumping plan

The Southold Town Board announced last week it will be joining New York State’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a plan to allow dumping dredge material in eastern Long Island Sound.

The state last month sued the EPA in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, seeking to stop its plan to add a third dumping site near Fishers Island to its two existing sites in Long Island Sound. It claimed in the suit that disposing of dredged materials in Long Island Sound “can present a significant risk of environmental harm.”

In a statement the town released last week, the board stated it was concerned about the dump sites. Joining the lawsuit, the statement read, was a decision the board made “to protect the interests of the town.”

Town Councilman Bob Ghosio said last week the board was concerned about the effects dumping such materials close to town waters would have on the local economy and environment.

“Long Island Sound is a significant part of our economy and recreation, and we’ve spent many years working on it, making it better again,” said Ghosio, adding that he felt the federal agency’s proposal allowing dumping in such proximity to the town “flies in the face of common sense.”

The town board was expected to pass a resolution at its regular meeting Tuesday formalizing joining the lawsuit, Ghosio said, and he was hopeful there would be an injunction issued to freeze the agency’s proposed dumping plans.

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

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