Gov. Malloy, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Attorney General Jepsen Defend Designation of Long Island Sound Dredging Site
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, and Attorney General George Jepsen released the following statements regarding an announcement that New York State has filed a lawsuit to block a finalized U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that will permanently designate the new Eastern Long Island Sound dredging disposal site.
“Connecticut ports are an important economic driver for commerce throughout our state and region, supporting approximately 30,000 jobs and nearly $5 billion in economic output each year,” Governor Malloy said. “More than a decade of research and testing went into decision for the location of the disposal site, and the science could not be clearer – open water disposal is safe and will not harm the wildlife or the water quality of the Long Island Sound. The eastern Long Island Sound disposal site is vital to not only the future economic health of Connecticut, but it is also critical for the defense of our nation. We will be working closely with our local, state and federal partners to ensure its availability of this site for the current and future dredging needs of our region.”
“This lawsuit may mean an unfortunate delay in disposal of dredging material necessary to enhance our ports and harbors while preserving Long Island Sound,” Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy said in a joint statement. “The disposal plan was carefully and thoughtfully designed by federal environmental authorities after thorough scientific analysis and public input-- and meets all relevant legal standards. Our maritime industry, recreational boaters, and many others derive and need harbors and ports that provide safe, reliable use, as we work to ensure environmental quality of Long Island Sound.”
“We are actively reviewing this matter with the appropriate state officials, recognizing the significance of the issues presented to the State of Connecticut, and will evaluate appropriate next steps in consultation with them,” Attorney General Jepsen said.
Connecticut has significant dredging needs – far more so than other states that share Long Island Sound. Some background on these needs include:
- Connecticut has a far higher percentage of fine grained sediment, requiring additional disposal.
- Over the next 30 years, total dredging in Long Island Sound will produce 52.7 million cubic yards of dredge material, 75 percent or 39 million cubic yards of which will come from Connecticut’s waters.
- Connecticut is also more reliant on open water disposal than our neighbors.
- Connecticut has greater need for maintenance dredging: Since 2011, the state has invested nearly $17.5 million of state money in maintenance dredging. Prior to 2011, the mainly relied on the federal government. Connecticut has authorized an additional $22 million through 2018.