Plum Island — the target of speculation for decades stoked by restricted access to its animal disease research laboratories — should be sold by the federal government, according to a report released Tuesday.
A final, 512-page environmental impact study recommends the government-owned island — just 12 miles off the coast of Connecticut — be sold now that a new research facility is to be built in Kansas.
Read the entire report from the Government Administrative Services here.
Environmental advocates have pressed for the island to be kept as a nature preserve. An auction of the property does not necessarily rule out that option, but it also could open up the possibility of residential or other development.
Tuesday’s report drew swift reaction from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal who criticized the recommendation as “deeply disappointing and deficient.”
“It is flawed in failing to recommend measures to preserve open space on Plum Island,” Blumenthal said. “I will support challenges, joining environmental advocates in seeking to protect this unique, priceless open space and national treasure.”
Read more about Plum Island’s secretive past in this story from last summer by my colleague Denise Buffa.
Also, Carolee Salerno reported on Plum Island’s Animal Disease Control Facility for Fox CT in Feb. 2000. Watch the video here: