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Environment

Advocates File Complaint to Block Sale of Plum Island

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The debate continues over what to do with Plum Island -- a small island off the coast of Long Island, New York. On Thursday, environmental advocates filed a motion in federal court to block its sale.

The federal government has owned Plum Island since the early 19th century, and since the mid 1950s, the island has been a research facility for animal diseases.

That research space only took up a fraction of the island's land, which means means there are hundreds of undeveloped acres filled with wetland habitat and rare wildlife.

But now, the federal government is moving its animal research facility's operations to Kansas and it wants to sell the entire island.

On Friday, environmental advocates moved to block that action, filing a complaint in U.S. District Court, saying the sale violates several federal acts put in place to conserve wildlife.

An attorney for Save the Sound, one of the plaintiffs named in the complaint, said any court action is expected to take months.

Meanwhile, an amendment to block the sale of Plum Island recently passed as part of a larger appropriations bill in Congress, but a spokesperson for Congressman Joe Courtney, who pushed for the measure in the House, said it's unlikely to make it through the Senate.

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