NY, Conn. Lawmakers Try To Halt Plum Island Sale

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ Some federal lawmakers are trying to stop the sale of New York's Plum Island, home to the only national government laboratory studying diseases harmful to livestock.

The New York and Connecticut lawmakers announced the legislation on Tuesday.

Congress voted in 2009 to close the aging lab and move operations to Kansas State University. President Barack Obama's latest budget includes $714 million for the project. Kansas officials are selling bonds to pay for it.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says it's important to ensure that future generations can enjoy the island's environmental and recreational benefits.

Democratic Rep. Timothy Bishop of Long Island calls it one of the natural treasures of the Northeast. He said the island's value for research and wildlife conservation far exceeds any revenue the government could gain.

Congress passed a bill in 2008 mandating the island's sale. Bishop and Blumenthal's legislation would prevent any private development.

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