Cuomo To Sue Over Long Island Sound Dredge Disposal

Dec 6, 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its final decision to allow a new site to dump dredged materials in Long Island Sound.

The Army Corps of Engineers dredges silt and sand from rivers and ports to keep them navigable. Most of that dredging takes place in Connecticut. The EPA approved a plan in November that allows dumping in the Connecticut portion of the waterway that separates the two states.

While Cuomo and New York environmentalists oppose the disposal project, arguing that dumping poses environmental dangers, it has been praised by many in Connecticut. Officials there say small marinas and the Naval Submarine Base in Groton rely on having a long-term placement site for dredged materials.

The new disposal site is in the eastern part of the Sound, less than a quarter of a mile out of New York waters.

Cuomo says the EPA’s decision is in direct violation of the 1972 Ocean Dumping Act, which outlaws dumping that could affect human health or the environment.

Adrienne Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says she thinks Cuomo is doing the right thing.

“Thank goodness he’s acting as a water warrior to protect Long Island Sound from a failed federal policy,” Esposito says.

The EPA has previously said the dumping would not be a threat to the Sound. Under federal law, New York has to wait 60 days before it can officially sue.